Absolution | Laurel Abell

The beguiling buzz of my cell phone

interrupts my poetic reverie

like that infamous warlock from Porlock

whose summons plucked Coleridge back from Xanadu.

My daughter needs a priestess to release her,

allay the guilt of her sin. Well, that’s the gist

of her message: “I need to confess,” she says,

“I had a crazy meltdown on Mike last night.”

I sit and ponder the implications

of my adult daughter’s dilemma and I laugh,

realizing that, like a five-year-old girl

caught with her dimpled hand in the cookie jar,

she still needs her Momma to let her off the hook.

“You. Are. Absolved.” I text her, snickering.

“Say ten hail Mikes, and then you must perform

one ceremonial foot washing—yours,

not his—for stomping through sacred soil.

Then, breathe in deeply.” I demonstrate my words

as if she’s beside me…“hold it…just a little more…

now r—e—l—e—a—s—e slowly. Let all

your regrets soften and sink

into the cushion of tomorrow—which is

another day, with no mistakes in it.”

To think of Tomorrow like that—fresh

as the first winter snow, blanketing the world

in white silence, shimmering like a blank page,

eager, waiting.

It smells like the musky aroma of purple hyacinths

that freshen the air after a spring rain,

or sounds like the soft coo and squeak

of a newborn who is stretching and waking

after (finally!) a few hours of sleep.

That’s the taste of sweet, vine-ripened

strawberries lingering on your tongue! Yes,

I suppose, Tomorrow is

like that, if we remember. The thought

should embrace our shoulders, warm

our remorse into motivation

to enter the open page inviting

our words. Tomorrow has no mistakes in it.

“Yet!” I text before pushing the send button.

This is something even I need to remember.

The echo “Physician heal thyself” mocks me,

compelling me to forgive

the interruption, pick up my pen

and begin anew again…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.