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Breakfast Catechism

by Jared Pearce

Christianity has chosen symbols well―purifying
water, the voice of thunders and rushing
air―for the superstitious language that hold God.
But if He speaks in thunder, who hears
at 5:19 in the morning?

Rain patters on the tin awnings over the windows;
good, I think, that the water comes and cleanses after
the voice of God has shaken the house―the wind
slams the hallway door and makes me start.

Tiny drops renew after God’s mad preaching. Clouds
roll north into the mountains―again His voice―
and again the rain and coolness comfort, but I’m unnerved
by the questions that listening brings to all discourse:

How, in the rumbling, do we discern mood or tense?
Is this a command, perhaps a complaint, in response to His all-knowing
glance on the dresser and bedclothes?