Secret Sacred Stories

This is my romance poem. It is also my invitation and encouragement to people to share their romance poems with others, especially if they’re been pressured not to in the past.
This is as true a story as it can be, given that it had to be two minutes long, and mostly rhyme.

I met this woman-
on a sexual harassment committee.
Leading to a dilemma.
I thought she was really pretty,
but did I dare to tell her?

And by me she was quite smitten
but we had literally just written
about how inappropriate
it might be to ask people out on a date.

More alarmingly, to me,
she was a singer you see.
In a lesbian feminist band.
So now you understand
my hesitation.

And she knew I was a Christian minister,
not yet legally divorced…

But of course
Sometimes you have to grow up,
and take a chance

So, I asked my friend to ask her friend to ask
her if she could tell her friend to tell my friend to tell me
if she’d like to dance.
She wouldn’t.
If you’ve seen me try, you’d know why.

But she did want a root.
So we got together,
and a few months later I finally let her.

Then we started on a baby,
who we took to our wedding-
Which was to some extent our way of getting
some old church fellas off our back.
You see they were emphatic
that our love, no matter how ecstatic
must be chaste.

My minister was right
When he said “hide the light”
of your love beneath a bushel,
keep it secret, keep it safe
Sure, this may be blessed by the Divine,
but even if it’s a pearl
there are plenty of swine.

Even straight white blokes like me
Begin to feel ashamed
if they accept that their love is one which dare not speak its name.

So, I decided to witness,
not beg for forgiveness.

Which sounds brave now,
But I would have quit a dozen times in the years that followed.
Except for every Christian who confronted me with my “disgrace,”
there was another who found us a sign of grace.
“If he’s still a minister, maybe I still fit.”

And all the while their secret stories
of celebration, hidden ‘neath layers of
shame and alienation,
came quietly, circuitously,
into our conversation.
All these tiny sacred stories, feeling so alone
because nobody dares to tell them in church.
For fear of that first stone.

Why am I telling you lot this?
It’s not the free catharsis.
I’m hoping that a few of you
after we get up off our arses
and travel home,
will share your stories of celebration
with the church or with the nation.

Google whatiwishisaidinchurch
(that’s mine)

Or if you’re not inclined,
to tangle with the Divine
there’s a bunch of other sites online.

Or you just might

Tell somebody face to face
Tell it as a story of grace, not disgrace.

Go on, take a chance!

Tell someone about that time
you asked the wrong person,
in the wrong place,
at the wrong time,

to dance.

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