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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Gone Fishing (02/01/07)

TITLE: He'll Be Home Soon
By Leigh MacKelvey


Heíll be home soon,
and Iíll sit with him while he hacks heads
and slivers sea bass, profess not to puke
when he pokes eyeballs with toothpicks
and chases me round the smelly room,
teasing and taunting, fish eyes rolling off
the picks onto floor to mix with scales and
miscellaneous fish debris.

Iíll play along for awhile, but soon beg respite
to plan next Sundayís attempt at brunch for two
and pray it will not be another absolutely
perfect day for the sea to surge with fish,
like today.

Next Sunday Iíll dress
the table with gramís china, dazzling crystal,
his murky pot of grind, my favorite latte,
omelet supreme and raspberry pancakes.
Appeal and ambiance not found in finer fare
or fancier functions, at least not in our neighborhood.

You see, heís promised me church ... and itís not
the laurels heíll give for my food ...
but the hope heíll sit close to me in the pew,
lean his shoulder into mine, brush my cheek with his
warm breath when he whipers how glad he is
he came this time and hadn't gone fishing.

On a usual Sunday,
we eat soggy cereal. I smile as he winks
and claims ďweíll have a fish fry tonight! Ē,
collects gear and walks towards the door.
I rise; hold his arm, kiss his lips; wish him a happy day
as I wonder if I should slip a scripture card in
his tackle box; make a bigger case for the choirís
new director, the much improved music heíd so enjoy.

On a usual Sunday,
I rub shoulders in church with several women who
paddle the same boat as I, labored chants of
ďstroke .. stroke .. stroke,Ē keeping us afloat on the river of faith
each day as we look to God for daily patience and hope for
our husbands who have yet to be caught.

Tonight, when he comes home,
Iíll meet him on the front steps, hug his neck, make a fuss
about the ďbig fishĒ he proudly shows; tell him how he was missed.
Later, heíll come to me, lift my face to his,search to see if Iíve been crying.
Heíll tell me he knows I want him to know my God and heíll
keep his promise of brunch and church next Sunday.

Iíll slip my hand in his and say, ď Letís get to bed, honey; itís been a long day.Ē

Iíll lie awake, my hand on his chest measuring each breath
as sleep overcomes. Iíll move the other to cover his forehead
and ask God to bless him, keep him, until the time he will be
drawn into the kingdom by the Spirit, through faith in Christ.
And then ... my God will become his God.

Iíll be glad I hadnít slipped a scripture
into his tackle box, Iíll choose another way
to love my unsaved mate. Iíll fish for his soul with
respect and a life lived in the Light of a Glory who is God.

Iíll dream of raspberry pancakes, church with his hand in mine
and the hope of a big catch to come.

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This article has been read 896 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Pat Guy 02/09/07
This is exquisite. My heart ached, tears fell and it was a pleasure to read such work. Absolutely wonderful.
Judy Burford02/09/07
How I could relate to this piece -- not for a spouse, but for my mom. Thanks for a beautiful "fishing" story.
Jan Ackerson 02/09/07
There is so much to love about this excellent poem: the wonderful alliteration, the "stroke stroke stroke" of the women in church, the loving relationship between these "unequally yoked" spouses...and most of all, a story beautifully told with a mastery of words and images. Outstanding.
Sara Harricharan 02/12/07
This is beautiful! So realistic descriptions, but packed with a lot of emotion and feeling. I could see everything happening and wanted to be there with the wife to encourage her to 'keep fishing'. Loved the piece with the lattes and raspberry pancakes...made me hungry ^_^ Great writing!
Joanne Malley02/12/07
Just lovely! I sense the woman in this poem has enough faith for the both of them even through the pain she feels so deeply. Wonderful job. Blessings, Jo
Betty Castleberry02/13/07
This is so tender. You've captured very well the feelings of a wife longing for her husband to be saved. Excellent!
Cheri Hardaway 02/13/07
This was so beautiful, and I just love the title! I was very touched, for my dad and my sister are still unsaved, and I'm still "fishing." It's tempting not to "hunt" instead, just like it was for your character... Thank you. Cheri
william price02/13/07
Great job. I loved it. God bless.
Patty Wysong02/13/07
This was wonderful! It really touched a chord (or two or three...) Absolutely wonderful!!
Loren T. Lowery02/14/07
A wise person has written this beautiful, meaningful prose.
Sheri Gordon02/14/07
Very nice. I'm usually not a fan of this type of poetry, but this was a great read. You conveyed so much in such a small piece. Bravo.
Mariane Holbrook 02/22/07
There is so much here I don't know where to start. But here's one I truly love:
"paddle the same boat as I, labored chants of
ďstroke .. stroke .. stroke,Ē keeping us afloat on the river of faith." That's so beautiful! I felt like I was walking into something too sacred, too personal, too lovely to invade. I saw in this piece an underlying love so deep that you were willing to sublimate your desperation to see him become a Christian and just love him and wait til he felt the time was ripe. If that isn't love I don't know what is. I can't tell you how many sermons I can see out of this poem. It's truly a feast, a banquet of words. I'm so glad I got to read it!What a dear, loving wife you are! God bless you.
Loren T. Lowery06/28/07
I said it once before and will say it again, a wise person has written this beautiful and meaningful poem. Thank-you for re-sharing it with us!
Sharlyn Guthrie06/28/07
This is a wonderful poem! Your portrayal of love and commitment and the struggles involved in this union are both vivid and insightful. My favorite lines:
"On a usual Sunday,
I rub shoulders in church with several women who
paddle the same boat as I, labored chants of
ďstroke .. stroke .. stroke,Ē keeping us afloat on the river of faith
each day as we look to God for daily patience and hope for
our husbands who have yet to be caught."
Jacquelyn Horne06/28/07
I'm one who doesn't really care for free verse. But this "captured" me, or "caught?" me. Very good pov.
Joanne Sher 06/30/07
Wonderful, wonderful WONDERFUL. So beautiful and heartfelt and sincere.