Advent Chain

Our advent chain is cut
from years-old construction paper,
faded green, pink, red.
The still-unlooped-strips lie flat
and slightly crumpled in the “stuff cupboard”
until I move them to the stairs
until I move them to the piano
where the tiny pile sits for weeks.

I did not toss those loose pieces
in the Christmas box in January;
now it is one day before June
and I realize Jesus is Forgiveness.

The colored, crooked bits of paper bear notes,
in tentative, and young, and solid hands, (and scribbles, too)
on how we are like Jesus;
this year I discover a theme,
and it’s not just “forgiveness,”
it’s quick-forgiveness.

There’s a special soul living here
whose capacity for this virtue is unparalleled.
Grace swirls around her,
invisible, surprising,
lilac and honeysuckle on the breeze.

Though the advent chains will
and rip
and scatter,
quick forgiveness will
hold us together.

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