Would I See Him

Sent home from my mission Aug 07, 2017

The poem I want to share with you this week is one I wrote half of in the MTC around Christmastime, and I finished the rest of it out in the mission field. I thought about what kind of person I would be if I lived in the time of Christ—would I be a shepherd who went and worshiped the baby Jesus, or would I be one of the hundreds or thousands of other people in Bethlehem to whom this was just another baby? 

Would I See Him?

If I’d walked the roads of Palestine
in older, simpler years,
would I have seen a man
drying people’s tears?
Would I listen to His words 
and choose to follow where He goes,
or would I spit on Him, reject Him,
there in Calvary, alone?

If I’d walked the roads of Bethlehem
on a certain silent night,
Would I have seen a baby
in swaddling clothes wrapped tight?
Would I have knelt and sang his praise
and worshiped Him, my Christ, that day,
or would I have been too busy
and continued on my way?

And in the paths I’m on today
in this loud and noisy world,
do I make time to see my Savior
and His gospel flag unfurled?
To pray for truth, and seek His grace
and follow what He taught,
or will I never feel His hand in mine
and do the works He wrought?

As I seek to walk His paths,
and simply serve my brother,
will someone see me, and notice 
as I try to help another?
Will they see my work and think of Him
who served us each so selflessly?
I don’t know, but I did my part
And I that’s enough for me.

Courage

Originally published 09-13-19

I wrote this poem on 9/11:

Courage

I try not
to pray
for the strength to keep
winning my daily battles.

Now, I pray for the
courage
to keep trying,
to keep fighting
alongside God.

He let the world go dark

Originally published 07-19-19

This poem is based off a line someone said as a part of
their testimony last Sunday. That line became the last stanza, and I wrote all
the other stanzas to set the scene. Sometimes we don’t really appreciate just
how much of a miracle the Atonement and Resurrection was, but I think it helps
to think of how the people would have felt when Christ died.

He let the world go dark

Disciples fled
when He was seized.

Leaders mocked
but He opened not His mouth.

Followers watched
as He was condemned.

Peter cried
when the cock crowed thrice.

Mary wept
to see her Son on a cross.

Friends mourned
as they buried His body.

He let the world go dark
to rise up on that Sunday
shining brilliantly.

Mother’s Day poem

Originally published 5-12-19

I debated this week between posting my favorite poem, about the prodigal son, and this poem about mother’s day. I eventually went with this one, but I’ll share the other at some point. Happy Mother’s day!

Mother’s Day poem

Who prepares our meals and makes sure that we’re fed?
Who beautifies a house and makes of it a home?
Who sends us off to school and tucks us into bed?
To all these questions, and many more, the answer is: our Mom!

Thank you, Mom, for all the many things you do for me,
Thank you, Mom, that you’ve been there and with me all along,
Thank you for being an example of who I want to be,
I’m glad I have the blessing to call you my Mom!

I love you, Mom!

From the girls who wonder why you guys won’t ask us on more dates

Originally published 02-14-2019

From the girls who wonder why you guys won’t ask us on more dates

From the girls who wonder why you guys don’t ask us on more dates—
we received your letter; we were glad to know the reasons for our fate
(that is, eating Meadow Gold ice cream on the couch alone at night),
and now we’re responding to clarify some things and set you right.

First, be sure to check our left hands for the ring that we may wear.
At least we have a way to tell you we’re engaged, so it’s more than fair
that you’re the one who has to ask, and, by the way, it would help our doubt
if you clarified whether this was an actual date or just us “hanging out.”

It’s not like we want to make you suffer when you try to set up a date,
but we can’t proclaim “I’m single!” or “Taken!” without us sounding fake.
So then we have to figure out a way to say no if we’re not interested,
or how to say we’d like to go despite our schedule being congested.

The real reason we can’t join you on your date at half past nine
is that we have a Pride and Prejudice marathon at that time,
and regardless of your efforts to be a gentleman, we’re sorry,
but there’s no way you can surpass the perfection of Mr. Darcy.

And when we eat, we hesitate, not wanting to spend too much
If you would give a price range, we’d take it as a stroke of luck.
And are you the type who thinks we order salad to impress you,
or the kind who’s disgusted when we pick a burger, fries, and shake, too?

Driving is worse than walking when you tell us to put the radio on:
if we like country or classical or something we’re not quite sure you’ll want,
we wait, deliberate, you wonder why we girls are so indecisive,
and instead of music, we listen to a loud and awkward silence.

All we really hope for is that you’ll stay off your phone,
and, please, don’t regale us with the other girls you’ve known.
Don’t try to fix our problems, don’t question us on sports.
Watch some chick flicks, then you’ll know how to act around a girl.

It would be nice if those etiquette tips were as common as you mentioned,
but instead we wait in the car, wondering if our door will be opened.
If we turn the handle too quickly on our own, you make us get back in,
but if we wait, you’re confused, and your realization makes us cringe.

We dread the doorstep scene, that moment of tension, too,
not sure if you’ll try to kiss us—not sure what we’d do,
So you might as well just ask us permission, or, at least
find a better spot than the wan porch light above the street.

When we walk inside, our roommates pounce, unabashed,
telling us they watched from the window and are sure it’ll last.
We agonize what, and when, to text you, searching for the blend
between being eager and rude, between clingy and just a friend.

And suddenly we’re in that strange, uncharted space that lies between
just being friends hanging out, and being an actual thing.
So when we see you again, we don’t know what to do or say
to make sure we haven’t taken the first date the wrong way.

Then our waiting is torture, whether we want a second date or not,
and we’re not sure, either, when or if you should respond.
When you ask us on that second date, the whole thing starts again,
and we know there’s only two ways in which this cycle ends.

And so, in the end, I think I agree with your conclusion
that it’s easier to die alone and avoid all this confusion.
But I guess it would be worth it, every pointless, awkward date,
if it led you to the one you loved, an eternal, celestial mate.

To you girls who wonder why we guys don’t ask you on more dates.

Originally published 12-14-19

To you girls who wonder why we guys don’t ask you on more dates.

To you girls who wonder why we guys don’t ask you on more dates.
There’s no more need to wonder, there’s no more need to wait,
I wrote this poem as an answer, I hope it can help you
Stay and listen close, because I’ve got a reason or two.

First, it’s just so hard to get the courage to ask you out,
I just can never know how it’s going to turn out.
I’ll say, “this Friday, maybe, do you happen to be free?”
and you’ll say “Oops, hold on, my fiancé’s calling me.”

Or maybe you’ll say something like “Oh, that would be great!
I’ve been meaning for a while to start a study group up—thanks!”
Or maybe you’ll say, “Friday I have my great-aunt’s funeral”.
Asking you out after that just really isn’t doable.

And then, even if you agree, we have to pick a time,
and the earliest that I could pick you up is half-past nine.
Earlier, I’m meeting with some friends, and no amount of love
is making me miss one day of my Winnie the Pooh fan club.

And when that is decided, we need to pick a place to go—
and this can be the trickiest, cause how on earth would I know
a place that’s gluten-free, paleo, and vegan,
no peanuts, no GMO, and a price that’s within reason?

I’d pick you up, and we’d go and cruise in my super nice ride,
but I’m a college student, so you’ll have to let that slide.
We could walk together and just hope it doesn’t rain,
or get a tandem bike, and pedal through the pain.

And what if I find that you chew food with an open mouth?
how do I explain to you that that is when our date went south?
or what if I talk with my mouth full, how will you tell me?
I hope you won’t just let the world know on your Insta feed.

And then there’s all the etiquette—hold the door for you,
get your chair, say I like your hair, and all of it on cue.
And if I somehow get it all right, there are no special perks,
but if I miss a single thing, I’m suddenly a jerk.

Then, when we’ve survived an hour, we walk back to your door,
and my recurring nightmares tell me I’ve been here before—
Will I go for a kiss and you for the hug? Will I say goodbye super weird?
Will I sneeze from your perfume? There’s lots of things to fear.

And after I come home from all the nervousness and sweating,
my roommates all will pester me and ask “Hey, when’s the wedding?”
And you will text me something—or maybe not, and I
will be wondering what you thought of the date the whole rest of the night.

And maybe you enjoyed it, and you text this to me:
“I liked the date, we should do it again! I’m free for eternity :)”
or maybe, the next time I see you you’d speed walk the other way,
and I’m left to wonder why I followed the prophet’s advice to date.

And on the tiny chance it all went well, we find some sort of spark,
A first date isn’t nearly the end of my problems, really just the start
The next insurmountable obstacle I have to face: “the second date”
How should I ask you? What should we do? How long should I wait?

The dating scene in Provo’s just a tad too tough for me,
And so, I guess you’ll spend your next Friday night quite free.
I’m content, thank you very much, to spend my weekend nights at home—
So girls, I’d ask you on a date, but it’s easier to die alone.