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I wrote this poem for my sister-inlaw, Kristine, back in 2004. She was preparing to get married (to Jay) and I thought it would be fun to remind her of days gone by. Essentially, when she was much younger, as her youth group director I took a group of high school kids, Kristine and her brother Jason included, to a Servant Event out of state. The poem is the telling of a particular story that emerged from that trip.

Since her birthday was yesterday, I thought I’d share it with you.



In happened not that long ago
In days of recent past,
That I reflect upon the one
Who ventures to the last.

The one who, though receiving Jay
Has chosen wisely, sure,
But careful choice in days of old
Were never as so pure.

The moment hovering in time,
The one of which I speak
Took place a fist of years ago
In which I shared the week.

Traversing ‘cross this blessed land,
A band of wretched youth,
We ventured southerly in kind
And lacking every couth.

We stopped to purchase gasoline
One summer afternoon.
I stepped out with the cash in hand,
While Jason changed the tune.

A few awoke from restful sleep
And glanced around the van.
Some remained in sweet repose.
Some went to use the can.

Amidst the shuffle of relief
There stood a lonely man
Peddling different brick-a-bracks
A stone’s throw from the van.

A bit intrigued at such sight,
She ventured out to see
This forlorn one across the lot
With curiosity.

At such a stop, it is the norm
To gather certain things.
Likened to a dollar store,
Candy and plastic rings,

Sunglasses, soda pop as such.
Not much of which to speak.
In fact, the memory you’ve bought,
Forgotten in a week.

But she had left the “usual”
Gas station dollar store
To venture to this lonesome man
In search of something more.

I watched her run across the lot
And called to her: “Be quick!”
We would all be searching soon
For toilets not as sick.

She did reply with “I’ll be quick.”
A smile upon her face.
She raised her arm, a gentle wave,
And moved a swifter pace.

Minutes passed and some returned
With bags of stuff to share.
We gathered back into the coach.
The young girl wasn’t there.

I looked across the lot again
Expecting her to be
Returning with an empty hand
And watching carefully.

Instead I saw her give the man
A few unfolded bills,
And what I saw him give to her
Can still give me the chills.

For in her hands, now rested sure
An artful, red disaster.
Random flowers painted there,
A giant pig of plaster.

She hurriedly returned to us
Quite happy with the swine.
The others looked in disbelief
And then I heard the whine:

“Why the heck did you buy that?”
A brother yelled disgusted.
“I’ll bet before we e’en get home
That stupid thing gets busted.”

“I like the pig,” she answered square
And caref’ly tucked it in.
The rearview mirror posed a sight:
A girl. Her pig. A grin.

Quite happy with the souvenir
She purchased on her quest,
Of all there was to view in there
To her, the hog was best.

I must confess with contrite heart
I never could have guessed
The mem’ry of the big, red pig
Would outlive all the rest.

In fact, I must continue on
To share surprise at doubt.
That stupid plaster pig
Is intact and well about.

I have this knowledge only as
I’ve seen with my own eyes
The pig is living near to me
Complete without disguise.

I hate that pig as much as
Jason did that fateful day.
But rather than move further on
Or scarcely make away,

The ultimate of ugly red
And horrid shape of plaster,
That demon of so long ago
Sits in my home as master.

What did I do to earn such scorn?
How have I entered in
To what would seem a darkness
Or punishment for sin.

And yet it sits awaiting her
It’s master, lord Kristine
Ever to envision her
A proud girl of fifteen.

So, hear my plea, O blessed Jay
And from this burden save.
Take away from me this beast.
Bring light into my nave.

Make evident your love for her
And take to self the swine.
Make a place inside your home
… And get it the hell outta mine!

13 August AD 2004