If you saw the following lines from a poem by Grace Nichols, what would you guess the poet was talking about?
Tall and blue
true and open
So open my arms have room
for all the world
for sun and moon
for birds and stars
Yet how I wish I had the chance
to come drifting down to earth—
a simple bed sheet
covering some little girl or boy
just for a night
The correct answer: The sky. (The poem’s last lines read “…but I am sky/That’s why.”)
A 7-year-old’s answer: God
I didn’t “see” God when I first read this poem. I, being the perceptive adult that I am, saw the sky, “tall and blue.” But when I read it again after hearing the child’s interpretation, how could I not see him? God is true and open. His arms are so open they have “room for all the world.”
Even the sense of yearning, the longing to come down to a little girl and a boy took on a whole new meaning for me. God did come down to earth. He became man for all of us. Like the sky in this poem, he was personified so that we would all come to believe in him and to love and serve him. His Precious Blood saved us all. His creation – the sun and moon, the birds and stars – are all around us. I can be so dense though. I am often blind to him and his sacrifice. But to a 7-year-old, God is everywhere – in a poem about the sky, in the white blossoms of a dogwood tree that she describes in her own poetry as “dancing fairies in the air leaving fragrance in my hair.” To a child, God is.