Photo of Julianne Lepp

The illusion of separateness is a finite declaration in the sand.
-- Julianne Lepp

UU Chalice by Laurie Bieze, UU Congregation, Eau Claire, WI

 

Julianne Lepp - a journey of ministry

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spiritual symbols

Prayer Flags

by Julianne Lepp


His sunburnt face splits a grin
          like splitting a ripe tomato
the words fall out of his mouth
          fresh with pain, flavored
                    with a deep southern drawl.

          He repeats my name again,
                    Hoping help like cool water can soothe and refresh.
                              Hoping, yet tired.

I share my coffee. The first he's had in three days.
He rode the train, spent the night on a bench
          a spider bite wells up his arm like the poison of his
                    situation. Words slur and he repeats my name.

I walk him into the arms of an under-staffed clinic.

I have to release him yet

his name rests on my dresser
resting amid multi-colored sticky notes of all
the names I simply can't
delegate to a trash can.

a makeshift altar.

Like prayer flags they catch my eyes
each morning upon rising.

Chaplain, can you help me?
He repeats my name.