Saturday, December 11, 2010

The One With The Collar, Part 4

(If you're new around here, parts 1, 2, and 3)

(wrote this Monday, December 6th, with some edits/additions today)

this happened today:
met someone at stella's at four
for pastoral care.
we meet up on the sidewalk
and as we're going to the entrance,
i realize
there are two men sitting
at the picnic table there.
wearing army-green uniforms.
army? i think. then,
i see the patch on the shirt
of the guy facing me.
oh shit, i think. and their HQ
is not far away.
and i look up,
and meet eyes with him,
and he is one of the ones,
one of the ones
who beat up JT,
i saw him,
i heard him,
i heard her scream,
and i saw him in court,
more than once,
and i can't breathe,
and i start to shake.
we went in, and i couldn't speak,
so i went to sit down.
person i met brought me water,
while person got their coffee,
i texted my cielo and JT,
tried to remember how to breathe,
tried to ease my body back
into stillness.
thankfully person i met
totally understood. i only shared
a small bit of the story. and i was able
to get back to the present and be
pastoral and present and appropriate.

they don't cover this in seminary.

3 years,
and i still react like this.
not just the seeing him,
but also the seeing him living
like, something appearing to be
a normal life,
having a coffee with his buddy
at the hip coffee shop.
of all the nerve.

from there,
flew home, put on the collar,
went to the vigil
at the detention center.
my body,
always hyper-aware anyway,
even moreso now, to see
as we pull up,
the cop in the intersection

lights flashing, then moves on
and parks a block away.
as if we can't see him.
the prayer we read claims
that hope overcomes despair,
and my head nods
but my body, still hurting
in those same places,
cries bullshit.
what the body knows.
as always, the GEO guards
circle in their big, white, truck
then park in the shadows
with the yellow lights on,
as if we can't see him.

and i shout, and i shout,
and i wonder why
when i am here
my voice feels like
it is rooted somewhere deeper
than my body,
like it could carry me over
an edge of unknown.

and all i can think is,
all i can pray is,