Janel Davis

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“Offerings” read by Janel Davis.


During the dregs of February
She sneaks petitions into my bedroom

In between the tantrums and tears, she
builds her love with bold swipes
of crayon and marker on
paper rectangles
then, with blue tape and full hands
fastens them on the window
above our bed

I have grown raw by the grey days
and a daughter whose needs
are as yet so unknown
they chasm my family

That night I go out to walk
and pray
and miss a bedtime
that becomes an opera of anger

The next morning the curtains
flutter over my head
and I see them hanging—
twin peach paper hearts
crossed with rainbows

Her banner of love reaching over me.

“Mourning Baptism” read by Janel Davis.

Mourning Baptism

But the anchor of hope is sunk in heaven, not on earth.
–Gregory Floyd

I have been baptized by many things—
the latest is grief
who cradles my head under water
until the joy embedded in my flesh suffocates
and floats face down beside me
where a constellation of memories and dreams ripple:
her babies, our holy-days, my kids’ weddings where she will never be
in concentric circles of wavering—

This is the new death
the one where all the pathways
towards reason and happiness are flooded
and I walk into waters already drowning
wondering what part of me that is alive tonight
will be dead by mourning.

I haven’t emerged yet
fluid runs thick through my hair
like amniotic liquid
and I hope to be birthed into something else—

A creature who understands joy in the suffering.

The tide rolls in and out
a drumming dirge—

And sadness is a song we often sing solo

Hope is our anchor here,
thrown up into heaven.

“Highway Wilderness” read by Janel Davis.

Highway Wilderness

an Advent poem

Noise travels well on highway wilderness
You haven’t ambled here in awhile

The long love song of hope fulfilled—
Vehicled into the planet
on the distinct wail of this barn-baby King-boy

Lungs fill (first time for everything)
and bursts out a cry so hungry—
A stomach growl for so much more and (truth be told) milk

Wailing fists to the sky, star-clutching prizefighter
drawing back the night curtain
for every beggar-daughter son-betrayer
their proper names—You and I

The garden breathes,
her King is walking there again.

Janel Davis grew up in the Cascade foothills, spending time in the forest and also the barnacled covered beaches. She loves biking, baking bread, eating tasty food with talkative friends, and seeking out adventures with her two elementary age kids.

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Image by Shaun from Pixabay.

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