Do you remember the grade
    when we built volcanoes —
    hollow towers of papier-mâché,
    and the incendiary mix
    of vinegar and baking powder
    that spewed over the sides?

    It was about the same time
    our sorrow began to stack up:
    the strata of struggle and
    shame solidifying into a
    debilitating monument where
    our fault lines intersect.

    We watched movies of molten
    lava bursting forth from the
    center of the earth with
    unstoppable fiery force,
    searing the landscape
    and then turning to stone.

    What a surprise to find
    that what forces up from
    the core of our beings,
    the fault lines of failure,
    the center of our sorrow,
    is the lava of laughter:

    a mighty river of love
    that knows shame by name
    and is hot as hope,
    turning the stack of sorrow
    into the geology of grace and
    — dare I say it? —
    the pumice of promise.



    1. What a beautiful poem, and SO true!
      Having found myself working a 12-Step program, one of the steps is “were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character”. I’ve come to find that the answer to “how do I know when I’m ready?” is often “when I’m able to laugh about it”.

    2. The first scene reeled me in; it’s so clear an image. The second stanza’s my favorite, wordplay-wise, and also for its evocative impact.

      “what forces up from the core of our beings” — On a personal note, that line speaks to me, in the form of a searching inquiry.

      Thank you for sharing this poem. Cheers.

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