What I’m asking, the thing I seek,
Is that you’d pitch a tent in my wilderness, please.
Not the solid, brooding stone of Elijah’s cave.
Not the haunting bird calls and thundering waterfalls
Of David’s wild places.
A space, a pause,
Just a tent.
And not the wilderness of solitude and temptation,
But the one in the midst of the brood of children
Demanding water and quail and peanut butter sandwiches.
A fragile, fabric flap, which lets in the sounds
Of laughter and tears and questions
But is somehow strong enough to shield the peace.
Not high up, on some mighty, manly temple mount,
But here in my kitchen, or possibly the laundry room.
I want to know if you will make a table for me in the presence of–
If not my enemies, then at least my own children–
If my prayers for parking places, snotty noses
lost toys, lost patience
Are still precious.
If you will still meet me,
still make my face glow.
I want to know
If the apron flung over my head
Can become a tabernacle.