Through The Mirror/5

In the circus, a clown smears
her face with white paint thick,
covers all she seems to be
allowing her self an escape route.
A round red nose draws attention
away from the struggle,
fuchsia hair stands guard.
Her voice rises from her depths, without a sound,
rolls up her windpipe and out her smile.
Look through the mirror, she listens.
Find their joy and show it to them
on a platter they cannot discount.

The circus mimics life they say.
The Ringmaster conducts the parade.
Elephants in formation march
into daily submission.
Lions whipped into place jump
through hoops, sit on thrones.
High above, removed from all,
wire acts balance precariously.
Only clowns see inside,
the joy or the grief.

It must be tangible, this sacrament of life.
We must be able to touch it, know it from within.
It is there on the table waiting to be found.
Go ahead, look through the mirror.
He is there.

Author’s Note:

I must give a heartfelt thanks to Fr. Scott Jenkins at the Church of the Holy Family, ECC, for his powerful and challenging homily today. Little did he know, nor did I at the time, that a phrase of his would wind up here in my fifth poem in my study of the Gospel of Thomas.

Today we celebrated what old time Roman Catholics used to call the feast of Christ the King. Now it is known by another name in the Roman Church. But I like Fr. Scott’s name better – the Reign of Christ Here On Earth. Lovely.

However, that’s not the quote I used above. His other line about sacraments, we had three baptisms today at Mass, is what rung through me. The fact is that sacraments are a gift to us, but more importantly, they must be tangible. And that’s why our physical selves must celebrate and honor the unseen and often ignored Gift inside us by observing and participating in the sacraments.

This is what Logion 5 of the Gospel of Thomas calls me to do. I must look inside and out, seeing myself in the mirror but also looking through the mirror to see Him in others, too.

My other poems in this series can be found in Theophany or here:


Logion 5 from the Gospel of Thomas, translated by Stephen J. Patterson and James M. Robinson, found at the Gnostic Library Society:

(5) Jesus says:

(1) “Come to know what is in front of you,
and that which is hidden from you will become clear to you.
(2) For there is nothing hidden that will not become manifest.”

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