M. Leanne Todd

M. Leanne Todd

Leanne writes: I am a small town Texas mom of three children who loves writing and sketching portraits. My husband served our country in the Coast Guard for five years, and now he works in radar and electronics for a defense contractor. One of our children has a form of autism known as Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified. So there’s never a dull moment! It is my hope and fervent prayer that all of my life experiences be used by God to glorify Him and serve His purpose. In answer to that prayer, God allowed me to start a children’s church for kids with developmental disorders, like my own daughter--so that families of these children can still participate in church services if they so choose. It is called, The Grace Ministry, after Christ’s promise to the Apostle Paul: “…My Grace will be sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness…” 2nd Corinthians 12:9. And God has also blessed me by sharing some of His insight through my poetry. I’m a non-published author, so I don’t know how much of a chance I have, but at any rate I hope you enjoy this poem that reflects to the love of my God and my country. God bless you all!

SET ON FREEDOM

I bought a cheap bikini,
all my wallet did deserve.
But it made a handsome fit,
accentuating all my curves.

At first I was concerned,
for its colors were very loud:
Pure red, white, and blue—
patriotic and quite proud.

And if patterns had a voice
this one would surely last,
sounding off
just as
a trumpet’s sudden blast.

It had stars and stripes –
American, bred and born.
It looked just like a flag
someone had clumsily torn…

… and quilted back together
just in time for warmer weather.

(Like Scarlet O’Hara’s
fanciful cape
that she’d pieced together
from old-fashioned drapes.)

So now properly suited
to the beach, off I scooted.

The waves rolled in hard
breaking into the land,
but I stayed there
-undaunted-
while taking a stand…

… against the force
of a fierce undertow
that would have liked
to pull me below.

But I kept at my perch
with my limbs taking shoot
into supple warm sands,
like an oak tree’s deep roots.

When over the roar
of waves crashing ashore…

… a boom box
like a doom box…

… echoed tragic news
about what had become
of our military crews…

off in Dhahran, Dhahran
– Saudi Arabian soil –
“What were we there for?!”
My temper did boil.

Manifest Destiny
– that age old fiend –
must have struck at
Achilles heels of leaders
who’ve leaned…

… on their own understanding,
sending troops in – commanding…

… that peace will be kept
with grenades and with guns.
But I’ve no right to complain
while a beach, having fun…

while our innocent die
among terrorist spies.

What is Truth?
Where’s it found?
Is it at home,
or foreign ground?

Is it back in a tomb,
since we give it no room…

on our senate floors,
in public schools,
but what’s more…

how will we know It
if we reject
the grace
that can show It
to our elect?

Good fruit
cannot grow
from trees
that lack Water,
and especially not
as weather gets hotter.

A Gardener can’t rely
on branches so dry,
crisp and hollow –
they crack
before Son’s shine comes back.

What good does it do
to have God on our money,
if He’s not in our hearts
to outpour milk and honey?

We can even embroider
giant letter “G’s”
just like Lavern did
on sweaters and T’s…

but those efforts won’t matter
much to God in the end –
if to do so
we slander,
degrade, and offend.

“Give to Caesar
what is Caesar’s,”
so said our Lord.
And no soul
is too rich
for His blood
to afford.

All this is true,
and yet a thought
haunts me…

prayer left our schools
with each new elector –
and soon was replaced
by the metal detectors.

I do believe
in the Power of God
to tear apart all
the enemy’s facades.

And I do feel
the weight from His heel…

– pressing down
from all around-

… to crush the jails
of forked tongues and rattled tails.

Yet while near
the shore,
a thought came
once more…

as I grabbed a fist full of sand –
a “taste of Tara” for the man
who had killed our own U.S. soldiers,
to shove down his throat
and make him choke
on my grit-packed American boulder.