Holy Work

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“If you are humble, nothing will touch you, neither praise nor disgrace, because you know what you are.  If you are blamed, you won’t be discouraged; if anyone calls you a saint, you won’t put yourself on a pedestal.”  ~Blessed Teresa of Calcutta

Holy Work

My ears adjust, repressurize
in response to the forty-fifth high-pitched scream of the day
as I scrape uneaten bits of lettuce and broccoli from the dinner plates.

“This is holy work,” I tell myself,
my face close to the trash can, the odor
of old banana peels and used diapers mixing and wafting upward.

My husband stops home for a quick dinner
and I tell him how I’ve not yet lost my mind;
then he heads back to the office and I lose my mind.

The little ones pick and poke and pester each other,
and I add my screeches to their screeching and everything stops –
“I’m sorry,” I tell them, stooping down.  “I could have said that nicely.”

Almost before I ask, they forgive me and we are hugging;
they are giving me all of their love, so I am giving them all of mine –
this is holy work.

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