In light of Krista's conversation on how to hold civil conversations when it comes to the discussion of equal marriage, here's a short poem written in Newark airport a few weeks ago following a brief encounter with a former colleague:
r e t u r n i n g s
I see her, former colleague
in the baggage area of a
Oh hi, she says,
looking awkwardly towards the
Then she decides.
I hear you’re gay now, she says.
are you still a Christian?
Oh how will we tell this story?
She, to her friends, with
sadness, curiosity and prayers
for reorientation and returning.
Me, to mine, with sadness,
anger and prayers for
refocusing the lenses and returning.
And the anger was all mine.
And that question
was all about her.
Should we not just dance instead,
I should have said,
together turn a little waltz in
the chorus of our own bodies
while we wait and wait and wait for something better
than the empty carousel of this question.
How will we tell this story?
How will I tell this story?
With practicings of little ballroom dances
while we wait, confidently,
for what is most important to be returned.
Pádraig Ó Tuama, originally from Cork, now lives in Belfast where he works in poetry, theology, mediation, and dialogue projects. He neglects his website on a regular basis and has recently published a book of poetry Readings from the Book of Exile.