If God made jam the jars wouldn’t necessarily glow
like Christmas lights or the new home of seventy fireflies,
the berries wouldn’t have to be so divine
they dribbled rainbows and healed the sick,
each pip released a Gloria when it
cracked between your teeth,
and God’s jam would never refuse to touch earthly bread—
Aunt Lydia has worked out this much
since Cousin Bobby told her about a comma
he skipped long ago while learning his catechism.
Now, on a rainy morning, spared the news
that lay in her grass and is too wet to read,
she’s flexed her stiff hands and found them able
to slice the bread baked by a friend
and twist the lid from a royal-red jar,
and with the first crusty, raspberry bite
she’s ready to affirm God does make jam.
It still counts if people figure among
the instruments that have been put to use,
and Bobby catechized wasn’t wrong
when he pictured a deity, willing to work in the kitchen,
who made preserves and redeemed us.
Copyright © 2013 Sarah Lindsay
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of Copper Canyon Press.