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If God Made Jam

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.

from Debt to the Bone-Eating SnotflowerFind it in the library

Copyright © 2013 Sarah Lindsay
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of Copper Canyon Press.

Published in Poems Sarah Lindsay

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this (publication, website, exhibit, etc.) do not necessarily represent those of the Idaho Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.