Buckets of Grace

She brought me a bucket
Of calm, clear sea.
She bent down slowly
And put it at my feet.

Out of her pocket,
She withdrew a wild rose.
She placed the bright, red flower
Right between my toes.

She sat for a while
With her head upon my knee.
Our bodies warm together
Her soft cheek soothing me.

She suddenly took the sand and
Scrubbed my flaking heel.
I pushed her little hands away
And asked her not to kneel.

I don’t deserve your kindness.
I don’t deserve your service.
I should wash your feet.
Being loved makes me nervous.

Her gritty fingers reached out
And touched my trembling hand,
Then went about their washing,
Cleaning feet with sugar sand.

She poured out her water and joy
Over my polished-pinking flesh,
Then wiped away my gathering tears
Falling fast and fresh.

Undeserved grace.

Shoe on the Other Foot

The Story of Cinderella from My Perspective

I just lost my husband
And now I have to care
For his one and only daughter–
Whose love for me is rare.

I have my own to think about.
He left me without a dime.
Just this enormous place
And nothing else but time.

There is plenty of work to do,
But these old hands can’t shine.
I would get down on my knees
For a daughter who isn’t mine.

My daughters can’t help.
One is blind; the other lame.
They only have their mother.
I am their only claim.

I need his daughter’s help
But she doesn’t want to work.
Her sadness lingers on
Where cold, dark feelings lurk.

She cries and sighs and sleeps.
She misses him so terribly.
I know how she feels.
I loved the man invariably.

But life goes on.
Galas are thrown.
Shoes are fitted.
Gowns are sewn.

To drink from Future’s glass,
We must make our way
Through the bitter taste of Past
And dine on delacacies today.

I hope she understands
That I miss him so much, too.
But this isn’t my first time
Losing a husband/father of two.

We all have our pain,
But she has something more.
She has legs, eyes and the rest of her life
To dance upon the floor.