Where is Faith?

The elusiveness of faith when you need her most.

Photo by Dids from Pexels

Little did I know that our relationship
lived on the brink of extinction.
Not the slow grinding death spiral
of flowing ice carving cirques near mountains tops
but an overnight destruction like the Minoan Empire
doused in lava. And in my case, all it took was one message
with bad grammar — “mama is death” and by
breakfast, Faith was gone.

In the chilly late morning hours of that day,
I set the table for two and pulled out a
wobbly frittata from the oven.
When afternoon rolled in, while people attended
grumbling bellies,
I filed a missing person’s report,

not before searching the cave
in my diaphragm or sifting through bible verses
with talk of water becoming Pinot.
Come nightfall, I put a bounty on her head,
and raised the stakes to a lake.
But she was so sleek even Sherlock
didn’t stand a chance.

The zealous specimen that I am,
I started an all-purpose search.
I looked for her in the vestry among the clergy
donning their purple robes,
under oak pews, inside confession booths.
I searched in Isis oracle decks
and the blue striations of lapis crystals.
I even looked among the throng
of logoed tushes with seat bones waving
at the haughty ceiling.

However, I did not search in my baby’s eyelashes, dense and lush
like maiden grass or faithful heart pumping blood
through 60,000 miles of veins and capillaries.
Meanwhile, I continued my search in
overflowing coffers, theories that
swore I was born tabula rasa
and in Jupiter at home
in Sagittarius.

But I did not think to look for her in
the carcass crunchers feasting on the rotting zebra
or rows of dandelions checking riverbanks.
And tell me, why would I look for her under
the white sheets on the coroner’s table
or papa’s single-minded sperm with its winning stroke
that sparked a revolution?

It would have been unthinkable to search
for her in the mama goose that watches her goslings —
scared as they are — that plummet hundreds of feet to their death,
baby bones breaking or starving among the stars,
I continued looking for her in stories
about flatlines shapeshifting
to funky waves and pulses magically re-appearing
like leaves every spring.

But the closer I came to finding her,
the more she withdrew, shrouded
in her veils, the more she shrunk to particles
unpredictable as electrons, even on the day
we collided at the intersection,
blazed in sheets of flames and steel.
Faith was her name, a concept, intangible:
only my name for her.

𝘈𝘶𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘤𝘪𝘵𝘺, 𝘷𝘶𝘭𝘯𝘦𝘳𝘢𝘣𝘪𝘭𝘪𝘵𝘺, 𝘢𝘸𝘢𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘦𝘴𝘴 & 𝘨𝘳𝘰𝘸𝘵𝘩 𝘵𝘩𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩 𝘴𝘵𝘰𝘳𝘺𝘵𝘦𝘭𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘨, 𝘴𝘩𝘢𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘰𝘧 𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘴𝘰𝘯𝘢𝘭 𝘦𝘹𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘦𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘬𝘯𝘰𝘸𝘭𝘦𝘥𝘨𝘦 𝘰𝘯 𝘴𝘱𝘪𝘳𝘪𝘵𝘶𝘢𝘭 𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘴.

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Ning Tendo

Ning Tendo

Poet and apprentice to sorrow. I help people find their rhythm in grief by providing resources to support, orient, and nourish them. www.griefdances.com

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