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Micah McDonald

Honorable Mention: 2010 Novice Christian Poetry Contest $100

About this Christian Poet:
Micah McDonald is a writer, artist, and newlywed. She works supporting literacy in Texas with a non-profit organization while her husband teaches writing and literature to middle schoolers. Micah has been writing poetry with the encouragement and support of her family, friends, husband, and church arts ministry. This is her first contest.

About this Poem:
The words "through a glass darkly" stayed on my palate for weeks, and I knew there was a poem around them. This poem is a look at I Corinthians 13 which is so frequently quoted in weddings and in reference to romantic love; but the love the passage is referring to is so much more than what is usually understood. Romantic love is imperfect. Agape love, "caritas" in Latin, is deeper, unlimited, unconditional, and not bound by earthly imperfections. This poem is a look at love through human eyes, knowing caritas is more than I can fathom, knowing agape changes and renews lives. The poem echoes the yearning to see Love face to face, to see Him, clearly. 

An Exploration Of Caritas

She tries the known and unknown tongue,
clashing and clanging;
it sounds like dissonance;
she, standing on the corner soapbox
screaming love,
echoing imperfection.

Knowledge past and future
beats at his soul;
released left and right
the words flow like a torrent,
drowning love,
like an authentic counterfeit.

She cut her hair,
he sold his watch;
they gave it all away
for empty pockets
and bottomless cups;

So she chose the burning building,
and he ran in to save the cat on the third floor;
they became food for worms—
"meaningless, meaningless," blazed
the scorching disco ball.

Fresh breezes renew what once was,
evanescence removes the blotted cloth
and love's voice is heard again;
ashes swirl
and the clay molded;
he is made new,
she is made new.

He offers her his watch, she combs his hair;
a honeysuckle vine guards and sweetens their bed
under the great ancient oak—

love never promised rosebushes daily blooming,
but promised long suffering;
charity did not offer velvet cushions
but offered the cool spring of kindness;
unconditional love did not vow golden crowns
but vowed humility and grace.

Thistles and thorn bushes he bore
to save the snowdrops planted
in the scorching heat;
she gave the keys and her pearls to his able hand;
they ran a marathon through a sea of broken bottles
with the horizon setting in their eyes;
they held a ticker tape parade
in honor of words that withstood the fire.

Through a glass, darkly;
an impoverished reflection,
skinny and malnourished,
the picture is not whole but
dimly shaded,
corners darkened gray;
our view is poorly framed—
someday soon
perfect love will no longer cast shadows
and we will see face to face.

Copyright ©2010 by Micah McDonald