By Julie Cadwallader Staub

Skin, like piecrust, was invented
to keep our insides in
and the outside out.

Skin, like piecrust, is surprisingly tough;
stretches beyond imagining;
and can be patched with pieces of its own self,
leaving it strong in the broken places.

Thirty years ago this month, I prepared for my wedding;
Twenty years ago, I was raising three children under the age of five;
Ten years ago, my husband was diagnosed with terminal cancer
and we lost him.

Tell me, to whom do we belong if not to one another?
Doesn’t a longing for belonging
mark us as human beings?

The One who mixed flour and water
who fashioned us to be functional, resilient, beautiful–
that same Spirit pierces us
again and again
to let the inside out
and the outside in
that we might pray,
and change
and recognize our need for one another
and for the One who made us

that we might embody the same gravitational force
exerted by a pie, just out of the oven:
the way it pulls people out of every dark corner,
with its fragrant promise of communion and joy.


Featured in The Mennonite, January 2011.

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