The First (but not really) Sunday of Ordinary Time

I’ve begun bringing poetry to my church for the season of Ordinary Time. (The season gets a late start at Wits’ End because we observe a Sabbath month in August.)

I’m particularly excited about this season because Kathleen Norris’s The Quotidian Mysteries helped shape the curation of the season. And, I totally loved that book. I’ll talk more about it in upcoming weeks.

Because I was upstairs with the littluns this Sunday, I asked Dawn to pick and read the poem. She chose Marie Howe’s poem “Prayer”:

Every day I want to speak with you. And every day something more important
calls for my attention—the drugstore, the beauty products, the luggage

I need to buy for the trip.
Even now I can hardly sit here

among the falling piles of paper and clothing, the garbage trucks outside
already screeching and banging.

The mystics say you are as close as my own breath.
Why do I flee from you?

My days and nights pour through me like complaints
and become a story I forgot to tell.

Help me. Even as I write these words I am planning
to rise from the chair as soon as I finish this sentence.

About Lauren Sawyer

I am an assistant instructor at a graduate school in Seattle, Washington, and I hold a master of the arts in theology and culture. I love coffee, rainy days, and John Updike. Learn more about me at

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