Sarah Tate

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“The Grand Dance,” read by Sarah Tate.

The Grand Dance

I wonder if anyone else can see
the stained-glass waver like water,
almost hurricane-mad,
all energy and terrible beauty
as the Spirit breathes
outside these church walls
while we sit within, hands folded
primly behind the pews, waiting
to be pre-approved for rapture.

God’s shadows like to dance
against New York city bricks,
flaming lovely even in the eyes
of the world-weary people,
those passing by on the buses,
on the backs of the inky-night streets.

Yet, I wait to hear
the language of angels and cathedrals,
hidden in the waves of some lake,
cold and deep, in Minnesota.

I feel like a slouching Solomon
on some subsidiary throne,
watching every lady dance,
silver bracelets and anklets jingling,
trying to find meaning slip
between the sways of their hips.

It’s a shame I can’t speak angel,
or feel the Spirit shake my hand,
and yet every blade of grass bears
some semblance of my soul.
Nothing is bright and easily seen,
but I have these eyes wiped clean
from when Christ scraped
the black-muck sin from my own ribs.

And I think yes,
Grace must still be alive,
moving in a grand dance.
His curious hands push the petaled
stars and Jupiter into the evening,
while His mere breath trembles
the drops of rain on the train tracks,
slowly repairing every moving body
to Eden-shimmer again.

It would be easier to understand
the pops of a bush burning,
or have the Spirit blow open the church doors
with the sound of a great rushing wind,
but I can almost feel the grip
of Christ’s hand, the ridges of His scars,
whenever I touch the firm warmth
of a sun-glowed doorknob of bronze.

Sarah Tate is currently enrolled in college pursuing a B.S. in writing. She lives in Fredericksburg, Virginia with her twin brother and parents. Sarah grew up in church, but God always seemed to be more present through the stories of the Bible and in His creation instead of in a building.

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