Thursday, December 30, 2010

Chapter 26 - Part 3 - The rest of Leesie's poem

Here's the rest of Leesie's poem to finish off Chapter 26. I'm working on a dive log to post  Monday. I hope you all have a Happy, Happy New Year!! 

Thank you for cheering me on through a tough 2010. It's been a hard year for lots of people. I watch what is going on around me and feel so blessed. Sometimes I think I should relax and enjoy my great kids and wonderful husband. 

If I didn't write, my life would be so easy. I'd be bored and grumpy and miss all of you, but I wouldn't be banging my head against the wall, either. The marketing and self-promotion aspect of being an author stresses me out. And I don't want to even think about dealing with publishers. 

But who am I kidding? The challenge of creating fiction is something I can't live without. I've had amazing mentors, wonderful friends, and a editor who believed in my art enough to publish it--huge blessings. At the end of my sixth year post-MFA, I am incredibly grateful for all the opportunities that have come. I've learned so much, and I'm still learning.

I am most grateful for all of you. 

Before you get published and people actually read your work, it's hard to even imagine how you feel about every person who picks up your book and loves it. It's like trying to explain to someone who isn't a parent the overwhelming sensations that engulf you when a child is born. You've touched my heart deeply, and I can honestly say I love you all. Thank you for letting me into your lives and joining yours to mine.  When I look back on 2010, I'm not going to remember the rejection and frustration. Or even the relentless PR. I'm going to remember you.

So, no easy life for me. Not in 2011, 2012, or ever. I've got stories to tell!

Here's the rest of the poem we started yesterday. Now I need to go take down the Christmas tree.

Leesie's Poem (cont.)

After dinner at Aunty Jaz’s
while she snores on the couch
with her bandaged foot propped
on a tower of pillows balanced
on a wispy coffee table,
Michael sits beside me
on the step that leads to
a kitchen full of dirty dishes
that I need to wash.
I lean into him and inhale
his presence.

His lips rest on the top of my head
for a moment and then
he carefully places an open
Book of Mormon in my lap.
“I don’t get this part,” he whispers.
“Can you help me?”
I sit up so I can study his face.
My eyes find his and hold them.
“You’re reading this?”
Tears threaten and a lump
in my throat chokes off my words.
He did this on his own? all alone?
Without me?

I sniff and pull a ragged tissue from my pocket.
He kisses my forehead. “Aunty Jaz told me
about that test at the end.”
I try to stay calm, match his nonchalance,
focus on the page open in my lap—
Lehi’s dream? My fingers smooth
over the page as my heart
beats loud enough for him to hear it.
“What do you think so far?”

“I don’t know I just started.”
His arms go around me.
“More action than I expected.
I thought holy guys were wimps.”
I snuggle into his embrace. “Not Nephi.”
“Yeah.” He raises a hand to his neck.
“That dude’s dangerous.”
“We don’t chop off heads at midnight.”
He laughs and stretches his legs out.
“Do you think I’m Laman or Lemuel?”
“The bad boys?” I frown at him. “No way.”
“Who then?”
 I hunch over thinking, with elbows
on my knees and my chin in my palms.
“I know”—I sit up and twist to face him—
“You’re Zoram.” He looks puzzled.
I flick the pages back, searching.
“The guy they capture and force
to come along. Here.” I point to the verse.
He reads and shakes his head. “That’s what
I thought. Join us or die.”

I lean close and press my lips to his.
“That’s not your choice.”
He holds my face against his.
“Join us or lose you.”
I kiss him again.
“That’s not going to happen.”
“Even if,” he murmurs across
my mouth, “this test is a flop?”
I bow my head onto his shoulder.
“Have you prayed yet?”
“I’m on page fourteen.”
I look up. “So?”
“Don’t I have to finish
the whole thing first?”
I take his face between by hands
“Pray ever time you open the book.”
He leans forward and kisses me.
“Like now?”
We kiss again. “Uh-huh.”
He sits up, serious now.
“Can you do it?”
“No.” I push his hair out of his face.
His eyes move away from mine.
“You know I don’t believe
I’m talking to anybody?”
I take his hands and whisper,
“Then what will it hurt?”
He bows his head, closes his eyes.
“Dear Leesie’s God-guy,
Can you get her to explain
this dream bit to me? Amen.”
I squeeze his hands.
“I could call the elders. The guys
at the branch are nice.”
“Nope.” He lifts my hands to his lips.
“This is just between you and me.”
“And my God-guy.”

We sit side by side and bend
our heads over the verses.
“Lehi’s boys couldn’t figure the dream
out, either. The naughty ones sat around
and complained. Nephi prayed and look”—
Michael’s eyes follow as my fingers turn the pages—
“the Lord answered.”
He picks up the book and reads.
“This is talking all about Jesus.
He wasn’t in the dream.”
“The Tree of Life is God’s love.”
I point to the verse.
“Nephi received a vision of Christ
because His mission to earth
is the greatest manifestation
of the Father’s love for us.”
“But aren’t they the same guy?
I know that much from Gram’s church.”
“No.” I flip to a picture of the first vision.
“Father and Son—just like you
and your dad—with bodies like
ours, but perfected—Eternal.
He strokes my cheek.
“And you’re His daughter?”
I kiss his fingers.
“And you’re His son.”
“Like Pres. Bodden’s blessing?”
“You remember that?”
He meets my eyes with intensity.
“I can’t forget it.”

I put my arms around him and draw
him close. “Thank you—for trying my world.”
I kiss him with all the love in my heart.
He hangs onto me. “Don’t let go or I’ll panic.”
“Don’t worry.” I squeeze him. “I’ve got you.”
He rests his forehead on mine.
“What if you’re God doesn’t speak to me?”
I shake my head in wonder that he
does see what’s so clear.
“He already has or we wouldn’t be here.”
Michael draws away. “That’s my mom.”
I pull him back close.
“She’s on His side.”


  1. This is the most spiritual chapter EVER. There are no words that can describe how much i love this one. I know i have said i have favorite chapters but THIS on tops all of them.
    i really do love this one.
    Happy New Years.
    when is the book coming out ?

  2. Ditto Nora. I had chills reading this..beautiful. I feel like I need to go read my Book Of Mormon right now, that is how you made me feel, so spiritually fed. In fact, I think I WILL go read..:) Thank you. The Book Of Mormon is amazing and I'm so happy that Michael is finally reading it. I have nothing else to say...except, thank you Angela for letting me into your writing world, and for reading all my crazy comments. You are truly inspiring. Happy New Year!!

  3. Happy New Year to you Angela and I know it's difficult at times but thank you for sharing this journey with us.

  4. Happy new year! Thanks for sharing with us and pouring out your heart. I treasure it.

  5. I love the ending of this! Well, I love the whole thing as usual, but especially the ending.

  6. Speechless ;O Beautiful and perfect!!!!

  7. Love this Annie. You're so brave in your writing. You're my hero(ine). Keep moving forward.