When I can’t use the word God,
when I won’t be heard
I will use the word good.
And I don’t mean in terms of
right and wrong,
or Pollyanna pies in the sky.
No, by good I mean the pulse of life.
Goodness with its long vowels.
Goodness with the way it speaks of surprise
and wonder, as in ‘goodness me.’
Goodness with the way it helps us sleep at night, secure,
as in ‘thank goodness’
for the small mercies,
and how it makes a promise despite appearances.
Goodness in the way it does not speak of rules,
that people then place themselves each way of the divide,
but how it speaks of love
that the whole sky even is not broad enough.
Yes, when I can’t speak of God
and be received
or understood for what I mean,
and there may come a time,
I shall seek to speak of what God is,
might even become in the hearer’s mind,
if goodness were a thing worth believing.
Ana Lisa de Jong
Living Tree Poetry