Weekly Poem: ‘My God’

BY Tom LeGro  August 23, 2010 at 11:27 AM EST

By Sandra Beasley

My god is a short god. My god wears jeans.
When he swims, he has a lazy breaststroke.
When he gardens, he uses his bare hands.
My god watches reruns of late night talk shows.
My god could levitate but prefers the stairs
and if available, the fireman’s pole. My god
loves bacon. My god’s afraid of sharks.
My god thinks the only way to define a country
is with water. My god thinks eventually,
we will come around on ear candling. My god
spits chaw. My god never flosses.
My god reads Proust. My god never
graduated. He smiles when astronauts reach
zero gravity and say My god, My god.
My god is knitting one very big sweater.
My god is teaching his terrier to beg.
My god didn’t mean for icebergs. My god
didn’t mean for machetes. Sometimes
a sparrow lands in the hands of my god
and he cups it, gently. It never wants to leave
and so, it never notices that even if it tried
my god has too good a grip, my god, my god.

 

Sandra Beasley; photo by Matthew WordenSandra Beasley is the author of “I Was the Jukebox,” winner of the 2009 Barnard Women Poets Prize, and “Theories of Falling,” winner of the 2007 New Issues Poetry Prize. “My God” appears in “I Was the Jukebox,” published by W. W. Norton earlier this year. Other honors include inclusion in the 2010 Best American Poetry, the University of Mississippi Summer Poet in Residence position, a DCCAH Individual Artist Fellowship, the Friends of Literature Prize from the Poetry Foundation and the Maureen Egen Exchange Award from Poets & Writers. She lives in Washington, D.C., where she is working on “Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl: Tales from an Allergic Life,” forthcoming from Crown. More about Sandra Beasley can be found at her website.