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—after Ellen Bass

I could build him a barn, a big one,
as wide as the sky, red, to show my love
and to confess I share the same blood
that courses his veins. I would make it
tall and sturdy, out of the same materials
Noah used in the ark, and if I had difficulty
finding gopher wood, I would surf
the internet for a tree of equal hardness
or consult with the Sidonians. No one
knows timber like the Sidonians—
just ask King Solomon. And if I had
other questions, building suppliers would
get back to me eventually, even provide
how-to videos before I drove the first nail.
We might break bread. I can imagine
my efforts to fry squirrel or rabbit,
stirring up a little brown gravy
from the grease and juices, might do
the trick. Or I could lavish scads
of shiny objects on him because
reconciliation is costly—glitter and glitz
work miracles, and a diamond is a friend
to most members of the human species,
not just to the subset Marilyn advocated for
in the fifties. Should I consider a game? Maybe
one called Risks? One in which I would wager
it all for the chance to laugh again.

Listen to Jo Taylor talk about this poem on the Reformed Journal Podcast

Photo by Randy Fath on Unsplash

Jo Taylor

Jo Taylor is a retired, 35-year English teacher from Georgia. Her favorite genre to teach high school students was poetry, and today she dedicates more time to writing it, her major themes focused on family, place, and faith. She says she writes to give testimony to the past and to her heritage. She has been published in several journals, both on-line and in print, and in 2021, she published her first collection of poems, Strange Fire.

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