Friday, December 27, 2013

Home Buyers

by Jen Hunt, from the archives

I may enter a house
Be pleased with the shades, the trim
The bathroom sink
But if the boiler room leaks or
Does not heat
I will not buy

I may enter a church
Impressed by flat screen TVs
The neat broom closet
But if there is no room
For prayer or
I will pass by

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Christmas, I Hate You

by Jen Hunt, from the archives

Christmas, I hate you
The stress of you
The mess of you
The fit in small black dress of you
The fake of you
The ache of you
The up 'til midnight bake of you
The glitz of you
The blitz of you
The party can't be missed of you
The bait of you
The weight of you
The dread of late mail fate of you
The rush of you
The slush of you
The crumpled wrapping mush of you
The whet of you
The get of you
The deeper into debt of you

Jesus, I love you
The fuss of you
The muss of you
The come and walk our dust of you
The why of you
The lye of you
The love I could not buy of you
The serve of you
The nerve of you
The not what I deserve of you
The calm of you
The balm of you
The feel here in my palm of you
The catch of you
The patch of you
The death has met its match of you
The near of you
The far of you
The take me where you are of you

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Ripples and Shadows

by Jen Hunt, from the archives

It's as routine as flossing
This tossing
Of seasonal sentiment hither and yon
And I've never been fond of that either
Why not save ourselves
Some trees?
Why not
On three,
Pass your Hallmark
We sinners, though a motley lot
Reunion at the tender plot
When God first became clad
As a man
Our hails, faintest ripples
Of angel peals and frankincense smells
Palest shadows of towns
Where crowns are tossed and
Flossing, if required
Will prove all heavenly

Monday, December 16, 2013

Christ on Delivery

or "Christmas Present" following "Christmas Past"
by Jen Hunt, from the archives

Now say it's the eleventh hour and it's your doorbell
and you don't recall ordering anything online lately
but you're sure all the vacuum salesfolk are in bed
so you answer.

Let's say it's so close you can smell it,
but the thing is marked
--Jeez aren't you just about dying to know--
it's marked
(What currency does God take anyway?)

You know how easy it is to get taken,
still you feel compelled to take it
there's just that little problem of those red letters
Spilling C.O.D. all over the thing.
So you search your wallet,
but find it

Scrapping the come-back-tomorrow
You find yourself thinking what-the-hell
and grabbing--
Surprising even you
with how criminal you could be
(and that's not the half of it)

Then you pause,
crouched against your bolted door,
contraband in hand

Save for the tearing of paper
and your own guilty sighs
you would've heard
heaven leap
Thank God
whoever sent it is
a Mind Reader
a Gambler
and More--

C.O.D. = Christ On Delivery

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Christmas Past

by Jen Hunt, from the archives

Seems once God
Gets a package to
A couple
Bound for Bethlehem
With no forwarding address—

Word gets out

Some don't know the babe from Adam
Others say he IS
Adam, sort of
Only new and improved
And without the points on his driver's license—

Opinions matter

Monday, December 9, 2013

The Manger

by Jen Hunt, from the archives

Was the manger made of wood?
Sawed and jagged, cut and grooved
Sagging, splintered, piercing through
Clawing at an unseen wound
Branch, lifting a fair one higher
To the flame and to the fire

Was the manger stone, you say?
As marble seeped in sorrow, gray
Rough, like pavement traveled often
Quiet, as an empty coffin
Mortar for a fatal pestle
Doomed to crush the sole Begotten

Was the manger holy fodder?
Cupped hands lowered from the Father
Falling from his lonely bosom
Hanging like a beggar’s palm
Opened bare to spear and shadow
Holding light for every man

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Child in the Background

by Jen Hunt, from the archives

There's a Child in the background
Of this blurred and bumbling race
One who gave your hairs a number
And who keeps the stars in place
He can hear the slurs some call him
(Only never to his face)
Still he’s left the gate wide open
In the kindness of his grace

Day-old skin—not scarred or wrinkled—
Clothes the Keeper of the Gate
Fragile vessel for a
Sinner-Loving Naked Potentate
Looking hard you‘ll find a birthmark
On the inside of his hands
Would you like to hold the
Maker of the Sea and of the Land?

Come and touch the Infant Lowly
Let the Lord of All come in
To those places you’ve been shielding
From the sun and from the wind
Never know just what could happen
When the Son of God stops by
And you meet him in the stable
'Mid the neighing and the flies

Once you start the shedding process
Called an empty pilgrim’s progress
And you’ve felt the first sensations
Of the peeling of the skin
When your heart has grown three sizes
And you’ve changed from the inside
Thank the Child in the Background
who took flesh for you and died

Thursday, November 21, 2013


From the archives for my nephew Ben

A model citizen
Is Benathan
Good-natured, smart
Only late when cars won’t start
Ten years old
PBJ junkie
Lover of pasta
Karate master
“Son of the Right Hand,” he
Best buds with Andy
SpongeBob, H. Potter
LaDainian Charger
Owns autographed football
From Retzlaff et al
Shows true athletic wherewithall

Love, Aunt Jen

Friday, November 15, 2013


by Jen Hunt, from the archives

Martha is such a competent woman who when getting ready for company and when is she not getting ready for company sets a timer to tell her when the roast is close to done so she can start the gravy and tick she spent all morning tick hand-grinding the wheat for some fresh dinner buns and now tick it's down to the wire and ohyeah Jesus is coming for dinner tick so tick out come the good silver and crystal and tick now I’m eyeing the second hand and boy I could really tick use another hand and tick there's Alice out in Wonderland but I'm late I'm late I’m late tick and scurrying about murmuring this under my breath tick I slam my finger in the drawer tick by accident tick and oops spill some milk in the process tick and then tick this little piggy really goes to market and running all the way home squealing like a radical feminist chained up in a convent she tick drops the bomb: “Jesus! Get Mary in here!” Ding.

Friday, November 8, 2013

To the Fellowship of the Uncertain, at Christmastime

by Jen Hunt, from the archives
A response to Andrew Sullivan’s “When Not Seeing is Believing”
TIME article October 2, 2006

If you had suggested
A season or a lifetime ago
I should simply
Strawman the Straw Child
Hallow hollow musings and
Rock an empty cradle
In the name of Peace on Earth
I might have nibbled.

But this is anno Domini
And so being I have resolved that
Though my mother has died
And all the stars have shifted
Despite everything and without Prozac
It is neither suspect nor silly to hum Joy to the World
In earnest if not in tune
In the frozen middle of December
Because of a little walnut of a Christ child
In a shoebox-sized crèche
Probably the smallest trimming in the whole living room
The piece I almost forgot
Because of the matter about
Where the tree would go
What color lights to hang on it this year
And how many cords one outlet will tolerate
Before a fuse blows and clocks
Need resetting
So easily forgotten
The fake red amaryllis just placed
Had to be moved
Off the side table
To make room for it--
That little Intrusion who
Split time

In two
To mend our renderings
Call me crazyreligiouszealotchristfollower
But please,
Fear not

Friday, November 1, 2013

I'm Calvin Zane and I'm Raisin' Cain

by his loving mother, Jen Hunt, from the archives

I’m Calvin Zane and I’m raisin’ Cain
Please don’t make me say it again
I like to wiggle; I like to roll
I prefer to don’t as I’m told
My native state is Beedledorf
Into many moods I morph
In earlier times my name meant “Bald”
Now it just means “off-the-wall”ed
I speak as if I hail from Harvard
I act as if I ran a barnyard
I dig the playground and the zoo
I O.D. on Zooboomafoo
Funny, zany, silly, sweet
The smoothest charmer on the street
I’m Calvin Zane and I’m raisin’ Cain
Please, don’t make me say it again!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Beware of Burdens Vainly Borne

by Jen Hunt, from the archives

One night in dry-mouthed horror you'll awaken from your bed
To find life's leaning tower hov'ring right above your head,
And whether you succumb to the vast edifice or not
To crouch beneath its creaking crease and bear its teeter-tot
As Atlas, bent and broken, buckling under global woes
Or Jacob in his tug-of-war with far more robust foes,
On this will hinge the outcome of your fate at such an hour:
If you trust in brittle bones or His sufficient power.
Forget not Him who gladly offers shoulder for such strain,
For weight so great will only cause your feeble back to sprain.
Beware of burdens vainly borne which Jesus should depose,
When waking loads loom large, why, cast them off with your bedclothes!

Friday, October 18, 2013

On Holiness, Dentists and the Wash

by Jen Hunt, from the archives

It’s not as if being set apart
Is always bad
After all, I do it with my Christmas baubles
And my laundry
Nobody I know views their dentist sideways
Simply because he doesn’t share his tools with
The podiatrist
How we got to the point where
Any effort to be holy
Is deemed holier-than-thou
I don’t know

Friday, October 4, 2013

Greater Than

by Jen Hunt, from the archives

He is louder than the thunder
Stronger than the tide
Surer than the morning
Higher than the sky
He is closer than a heartbeat
Truer than a song
Nearer than a whisper
Free from doing wrong
He is purer than a snow storm
Wiser than a king
Kinder than a mother
Lord of everything
He is greater than my best thought
Could imagine him to be
Lord of heaven come to earth
To save a wretch like me

Friday, September 20, 2013

Pop Quiz

by Jen Hunt, from the archives

Who do you say I am?
Get it right and
It could be the million dollar question
A non-smoking, extra leg room
Window-seat-to-heaven opportunity

We feel sorry for Simon,
Wondering if we’d have posited so confidently
Under similar handicaps

That is, without...
... interference
It could be approached from so many possible angles
A trick question
Great improver of mankind?
Time's running out
Better hold out for Kant Barth Kirkegaard
Personified ideal of the good principle
Where's my concordance

Yes, give Pete some credit
After all, the quest for the historical Jesus had not yet begun,
Poor Peter couldn't traditio-histor-Him away
Impossible to grasp how Pete could say
No thanks to the 20-page write-up in ISBE

Yet, this is what Simon, illumined, did answer
And with that answer timely given
Was issued the keys to the kingdom of heaven

Friday, September 13, 2013

On words and worlds

by Jen Hunt, from the archives

Ironic, isn’t it
Blank screen my canvas,
Still stumped days later

How to speak
About One
Who spoke and it

No day six replay
No webcam live
To deny it denies self
A creature linked in time
To a world called
Very good
By its Creator

And after everything
I, who am but an echo springing
From those first vowels,
Have I nothing
To say in return?

God of my father
And yours
The LORD, the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob
Yahweh, who spoke and
E v e r y t h i n g was
I am

You, O LORD, are magnificent
A never-before world sprang to life
From your lips
By your decree let there be
Words from me
Worthy of One
Who always has been

Saturday, September 7, 2013

It’s the Thought That Counts

Our gift is kind of simple: a cake plate and toaster tongs,
But it comes with sincere wishes for love a lifetime long--
So no matter if it’s dainty sweets or toast that’s over-done,
Every meal will be as pleasant as the day you became one.
(Wedding card sent with cake plate and toaster tongs).

The REBT Rap

If you want to know the secret of a happy, happy life
There’s a therapy I’ll teach you—put an end to all yer strife
Now I’m no Albert Einstein, I think you may agree
There is somethin’ kind of special ‘bout REBT theory

‘Cause having perfect children, perfect worlds or perfect me’s
Has been slightly overrated, says the other Albert E.

Well, my son plugged his ears tightly when he heard my sorry best
So I might not win a stint or two as poet laureate
Or a Mustang or a scholarship that pays off this degree
But just getting’ out and trying will be good enough for me

‘Cause having perfect children, perfect worlds or perfect me’s
Has been slightly overrated, so says REB&T

I think ol’ Mr. Ellis would be proud of you and me
For thinkin’ up a ditty based on his philosophy
So practical ‘n’ thoughtful and as graceful as could be
Blending therapist instruction with a dose of empathy

Now R it stands for Rational, but don’t make no mistake
It’s not just because it’s used on Vulcans, ‘goodness sake
If you interview yer clients and you find they “musterbate”
“Crying positively awful!” get ‘em help ‘for it’s too late!

E is fer Emotive ‘cause ol’ Ellis became sad
When too many peers assumed this tool was rigid, cold and bad
So he put E in the title just to help his critics see
Many more could use his theory than the Spock on Trek TV

B stands fer, well, this time perhaps you all should tell me
Behavior’l—Yes! Exactly! How to change your crooked deeds
It seems if you identify and shift yer unseen lies
You’re bound to git more mental health than honey catches flies

The fourth and final letter, as you’ve guessed, is Mr. T
For Therapy of present tense and thoughts you cannot see
Which muck up your composure and increase all of your pain
Getting you stuck in dumb circles over and over again.

Yes, having perfect children, perfect worlds or perfect me’s
Has been slightly overrated, so says REB&T.

This rap may not’ve helped you, but I know it sure helped me
To eliminate foul thinkin’ and avoid some misery
I could’ve stayed up fretting ‘bout what I must say to you
To prove that I was perfect, like neurotic students do

Instead I took a breather and replaced that faulty lie
So my sleepin’ got much sounder, ‘cause I knew I wouldn’t die
If this part couldn’t be polished before I got me here today
And was boring, or your snoring threw my genius down the drain (drain?)

Sure, the rhyming could be sweeter and the meter could as well
But if you say you can do better, you can just…! ...I’ll just try to tell myself
“I might be slightly bummed out, but there’s no catastrophe”
‘Cause this Albert here has proven you’re as imperfect as me!

Friday, September 6, 2013


by Jen Hunt, from the archives

Iridescence is God's palette, the wash of highest heaven. If there is housecleaning in heaven--I'm not saying there is, but if there is--then the dust bunnies are made of this shimmering stuff. Wear it, and you're in dress rehearsal for paradise. I don't know why, but it seems God gave things that fly and things that swim a jump start on the path to glorification. Most insignificant things-- the neck of a pigeon, the eye of a fly, the belly of a trout-- are blessed from the start with some brush of His opalescence. Humans, though made just a bit lower than the angels, aren't quite so lucky. I need the help of L'Oreal's silverpearl coral frost lipstick just to get out the door. How much would you give for angel fingerprints?
On earth such glint is elusive, a fragile hand-blown bubble. The word itself simply slips off the tongue, leaving ripples of goosebumps over your skin. It’s more like a transient verb than a noun. You experience it in passing, in the glaze which paints the inside of your eyelids as you recline in a tub, listening to George Winston cascade through your subconscious. Take time out. Relax temporarily. Forget about all the sharp colors which pinched you all day. Try a bathbead full of glory. Now, put on your John Lennon glasses and imagine there is a heaven. In an eye twinkle we truly will pass through those pearly gates.
Iridescence whispers "God was here". It is not one color. It is the sanctified state which all colors everywhere hope one day to become.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Defining the Godhead

by Jen Hunt, from the archives

Defining the Godhead is like
Describing the taste of banana
Carrying an armload of apples in your shirt
Negotiating your car through a side alley
Opening your eyes as you roll down a hill
Some things sooner
Tried than explained,
God among them

Friday, August 16, 2013

The Threshold

by Jen Hunt, from the archives

I’m really not crazy, I tell you
But that door wasn’t open
Not last night anyway
Last night when I looked over my shoulder
As I plodded up bowed stairs toward a dark hallway
It was shut tight as a drum
Tight as my lips, my joints, my fist, my will

Open doors jar me
I know the kind of things that get in
If you’re not looking
The roaches
The rodents
The robbers
I could close it real easy

Most any other day, I would have closed it by now
But I can’t, you see
This morning when I woke
Out of the blackness and
Wandered down the same, sagged stairs
The sea sat
Where the door should be
So I sat down too, to watch
Hemmed by sun and sense

When I waved
The sea waved back
It waved back, I tell you

Now here I am
Lying, belly down on the welcome mat
Stretched clear out on the cobbled floor
Nostrils sucking the warm, dry air
Watching the glorious ocean

And I can’t close it
I don’t want to close it
Don’t you see?

All that used to keep me indoors—
The pretty sheers on narrow panes
The empty chairs
The empty corners—
Seems as nothing
Even worse than nothing
Like crap

So I’m ignoring the groaning hour hand
The quiet shelves
The encroaching, eggshell walls
Everything but the free and falling light

I’d like to say that I was a doorkeeper
Here, on my elbows, chin in hand
As I gaze out on the surf and
Blink in disbelief with each curling wave
To say that I was looking out for roaches
But I’m not
I’m thinking of better places than I’ve ever been

I don’t know why I’ve never done this before

I’m not crazy, I tell you
But that door wasn’t open yesterday
How could it have been? Stubborn will!

Who opened the door last night?
Who stirred the sea today?

Wind’s wrist turns sticking knobs
Wind’s gust churns Neptune’s waves

It seems impossibly bright
Has the whole world changed overnight?

Or have I?

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Longing for the Day

Longing for the day when the no
And the no, and the no
Yes, and Amen

Friday, August 9, 2013

The 64 Foot Pitch

by Jen Hunt, Annie Dillard-like writing exercise, from the archives

I am fascinated by the reality of undertones in music. Organ makers are keenly aware of the phenomenon. Take a two foot sheet of metal, roll it into a tube, and send a hurricane gust through its innards. There you have middle `C'. Now make a tube twice that length. This four foot tube will hum at a pitch an octave lower. The lowest note you can press on an organ, by finger or foot, is the 32 foot pitch. As you might expect, it requires a thirty-two foot tube and a lot of wind. You press the note timidly and say a prayer. You hope the unseen monster who makes the pipe bellow isn't suffering asthma today. But there is another reason-- besides lung capacity and metal shortage-- why the bottom drops out at thirty-two feet. Go any lower than that, and human ears can't pick the note up. Adventurous organists, however, search for ways to get around this. They grope for the lower pitches like a party show-off with a limbo stick. Performers have noticed and music theorists have confirmed that by pressing the lowest note, the 32 foot, and adding a higher note it, say a quint, you create an undertone one octave lower still. This 64th pitch is a note the human ear can't hear, but the body can feel.
I ask myself if there isn't a 64 foot pitch to the world around me. Maybe even the amoebae experiences the tone as a massage which throws his whole body into palpitation. My soul yearns for proof of a spiritual reality undergirding the world my body sees and feels. Until I was eighteen I lived as one deaf, or rather unmoved, to the boom of the 64 foot pitch. Now the Holy Spirit's quint has wobbled my gut. I feel the groans of the whole creation. And I groan as well.

A Truer Rose

by Jen Hunt, from the archives

A truer flower has ne’er been found
In florist’s house or gardener’s ground
The rose in the bud vase
Dethorned, yet unbruised
Stem cut, death imminent
Standing proud as a Jew
Her petals, arms open
Her leaves like shy hands
Her scent like the perfume
Of faraway lands
Accustomed to sunlight
And cool evening dew
Now basking in halogen
Admirers few
Plucked from reality
Splendor unreal
Fleeting perfection
Platonic ideal
Petals like porcelain
Crafted to last
Though brief be her moment
In life’s hourglass
A truer flower has ne’er been found
In florist’s house or gardener’s ground

Friday, August 2, 2013

For Wee Emily Anna born July 15, 2013, from Auntie Jen

True to her sex, she came out pink
Faster than lightning, bees or blinks
Quite precocious, some would say
What lengths to go for a July birthday
Ten little fingers, ten little toes
Strawberry locks and a wee Watts nose
Never has a girl seemed sweeter
Whether to her clan, or all who meet her!

Friday, July 26, 2013

O LORD, my LORD, my Living Water

by Jen Hunt, based on Psalm 63, from the archives

O LORD, my LORD, my Living Water
Quench my charred and blistered soul
Whiten sheets of blackened parchment
Blasted by sin's fiery blow

Sated lips once sang your glory
From Jerusalem's holy hill
Lips, now parched by Judah's desert,
Praise from streams no longer filled

Enemies have sought to kill me
Do not hear their evil plans
I rely on you to stay me
Cradle me with your right hand

Look upon my fevered torment,
Tilt your never-emptied bowl
That a drop of holy ferment
Might rain down to wet my soul

Chocolate-Coated Somethings

By Jennifer Hunt, from the archives

Yesterday I received a box
Of twenty-four chocolate-coated
I am one third of the way
Through the somethings.
I have eaten three completely,
Given five away,
Squished the bottoms in
On eight others
Only to put them back in the box,
And forced my husband
To eat the one I nibbled
Only to discover it was
There are newly-poked parts of me
I want to put back
In that chocolate box.
I’ve always preferred
The kind with lids
That give away the insides.
You can pick the ones you like
And leave the rest.
Who has the lid
To me?

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Lament for the Sparrow

Lord, how often I've found comfort
in knowing I'm worth more
than many sparrows

This afternoon, at three
One such flew
into the glass of
Our bathroom window
A thud
Then silence
Was it the neighbor being funny
Or a terrorist's grenade?
Just one, still bird
Lying sideways
Neck bent
On the slope of the roof

Leave it there, says Graham
I can get it later

God, you say I am worth many sparrows
But if this is a sample
I'm not so sure right now
What to think
About worth or us

The sparrow never had to be removed
Pelting rain or bird of prey
Got there first

If I royally screw up
Lying dead on some roof
What am I worth to you?
What does my worth to you matter?

Lamenting the sparrow
I mourn myself
I mourn the glass ceiling
That separates my soul
From you
Keeps me from
Feeling your tears
As they touch
The hidden glass
That shields my heart

I am that sparrow
On that roof
Having hit the glass wall
With a Thud
The wall that lies between

As I lie here as dead
How I long to feel
Your pelting, healing tears
Upon my head
To find
My soul lifted
Off this roof
On the wings
Of the dreadful
Bird of Pray

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Hello, Alden, My Old Friend

by Jen Hunt, from the archives
The following song, written to the tune of “Sound of Silence,” sheds light on Jen’s unique baby boot camp journey:

Hello, Alden, my old friend
I’ve come to feed you once again
Thanks to those bottles in the ICU
You never latched on like I hoped you’d do
And the freebies that were stashed in the diaper bag I toted back read:
“We taste as good as mom’s milk”

That sweltering night we brought you home
I had to feed you on my own
My eyes were red, their lids were baggy
My nursing bra was loose and sagging
Though I gave you every ounce that my chest could store,
you cried for more.
Please tell me how to feed a boy like Alden!

Then in my nightmares there I saw
ten thousand ladies, maybe more
Women holding their babies
Mothers nursing with no problem
Breastfeeders whose milk supply rivaled that of a Jersey cow’s
(The Lord knows how to feed a boy like Alden).

And so your mommy pumped and prayed
to the Medela Lactina maid
As La Leche called out its warnings:
“Formula was found to be deforming
in studies done on lab’ratory rats
who swallowed vats
You may as well be serving poison.”

But when my milk supply had peaked
And you cried out for more to eat
That put your Mommy in an awful spot
“Let him starve, or cause his tum to rot?”
So I did the thing any loving Mom would do. . .
Combined the two!
And that’s how to feed a boy like Alden.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Alden Christopher Hunt

For my dear son, Alden, from the archives

My eight year old
Wise Protector
Avocational circuit connector
Early riser
Calvin advisor
Plays like a Lion
Works like a lamb
Traveled to London
With Grandpa and Gram
Saturday morning pancake cook
Eternally found nose-in-book
Boxcar fanatic
Civi III addict
Good head on his shoulders
Boom’rang billfold-er*
All-around pleasure
Gift beyond measure

Love, Mom

*Refers to when he lost his wallet on the Isle of Jersey and it was found two days later at the police station

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Poet’s Excuse

by Jen Hunt, from the archives

This poem is for all the poems I will never write
Because I wear dresses without pockets

This poem is for all the poems I will never write
Because I still can’t remember my husband’s social security number
After eleven years of being listed as his dependent on the road side-assistance card

This poem is for all the poems I will never write
Because the AAA operator had trouble
Finding my membership information in the database

This poem is for all the poems I will never write
Because it takes the gestational length of a common fruit fly
For phone reps in Texas to find Rhinelander Wisconsin on a map

This poem is for all the poems I will never write
Because I have found I actually prefer being put on hold to just about anything else

This poem is for all the poems I will never write
Because locksmiths don’t believe poets deserve anything in a hurry

This poem is for all the poems I will never write
Because they began in my head when I should have been minding my car keys

Friday, June 28, 2013

Walking on Eggshells, Sleeping on Air

By Jennifer Hunt, from the archives

It’s 6 AM and I would get up if only
The mattress we bought over the phone
Had not floated up
Leaving three inches between my nose
And this ceiling

At least I think it is I who has floated
And not the roof which has sunk
Yet perhaps
The sky was falling
The sky is falling
The sky is falling
And has been off and on for some time now
Since you climbed
Into the burnt stump out back
And began growing rings

“These coils are like sleeping on air,”
Pledged the salesman over the phone
Before landing his commission.
Air is not all it's cracked up to be

If manufacturer's words mean anything
The warranty predicts
I should be down
In fifteen years

Friday, June 14, 2013

Was I four or five or seven?

By Jennifer Hunt, a poem written for my dad, from the archives

Was I four or five or seven?
Years have blurred my sense of time
Seems like yesterday Dad caught me
Running through the birch and pine
Little daughter in a sun dress
Parting smooth wind with her face
Sprinting harder, getting farther,
Leaving grass clips in her wake

Giggles spilling from inside me
Doing hopscotch over rocks
Clearing grass and reaching road dirt
Like a robber from the cops
Had good reason to be missing
And it wasn’t to escape
But to find the glee of knowing
That a dad would win the chase

Seems like yesterday he caught me
I take three steps to his one
And just now I can’t remember
When my running had begun
Or just when it will be over
But this smile squints my eyes
Because I know if I were missing
He’d be . . .
. . .on his way to find


by Jen Hunt, from the archives

How can I tell
Which is harder
To heal or to forgive
When I can't do either?
Praise to Jesus
Doer of both!

I Am Not

By Jen Hunt, from the archives

I am not
You are not
He, she, it is not
We are not
You (pl) are not
They are not
The I Am Who I Am

Friday, February 8, 2013

On Flocking Together

By Jennifer Hunt, from the archives

Consider the flock
Of pigeons on this sidewalk.
What's their bond?
Is it their plumage? Or only
A queer attraction to the same,
Overstuffed trash bin.
As graceful as a junior high dance
As friendly as a country club
Necks ticking off my odd points
Eyes scolding me up and down,
I’m molted on the spot.
Their tattle all coo-coo's and poo-poo's
A quibbling over yesterday's lunch
I'd rather be plucked than join in.
But when I hear your strain
From across Pigeon Alley,
I forget all about Audobon's canon.
You could be a goldfinch
I, a blue-footed booby
Still, I would flock to you
Faster than airwaves
Because on the inside—
Where no birdwatcher can go—
On the inside
Our feathers match perfectly.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Florida Vacation

by Jen Hunt, from the archives

Coy winter plays at summer
As the breeze grazes my temples
But her chill betrays
The true season

The sun lifts her head from her pillow
The sun props herself up with her hands

Arching her back
She stretches
One arm
Then another—
Exhales her breathy rays above the hills

My spirit slinks down
Distilled by glow
Refined by shadow
We are at rest
The sun and I

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Snow Day

Cozy, cozy
Cozy, dozy
Cozy, cozy
Snowy day.
I'll stay tucked in
From toes to nose
From now
Until late May.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Just in Case

by Jen Hunt, from the archives

If my clock radio turns 12:01
on day one of the new year
I vow to chuck this roll of yellowed gauze
in donut-shaped tin
tucked in a teapot together with the remains
of my dead grandmother’s
medicine chest

I have moved it
from New Jersey to Dallas
all the way through middle America
and down into my in-laws’ basement up
in Outagamie County, Wisconsin
four times in all

I have made room for this tin
where there was none
in closets of one bedroom student apartments
when three of us occupied
a four computer, five bookshelf, no TV, one car,
graduate-student submarine
When you live with a crib
in your kitchen, you think
about downsizing

In my mind I have
rearranged, released, discarded
this canister a thousand times

Somewhere a purse-lipped docent
at the Historical American Toiletry Museum
is waiting to put a check by “Ordinary Gauze Tin” on her preservation list

If the world does not collapse tomorrow
she can find mine in the dumpster on January 2
Until then, I’m holding on,
just in case