When Covenant Breaks

When covenant / breaks, hope
flickers, and doubt / seeps in
like floodwaters / through the cracks
in the basement. While the Many

return to the comforts / of their congregation, we
are left staring / at the door
that was slammed / in our faces, wondering
if / we should walk back in,
and why.

Our faith demands / growth,
demands / inclusion / of those who were never
like us—whatever side / of that Us
you fall on—but words
can so easily / be cast aside
in the moment / when they matter.

Covenant / is a promise
that we / will work together
on a team we didn’t / choose,
doing groupwork / we like the idea of
far more / than the thing / itself;
it is the radical answer / to a radical
goal—at least,

on paper, for our faith
does not / give us answers
for what to do / when covenant
breaks: when we see
that some / would rather cling
to their patriarchy / and their white
supremacy, would make problem
people
of the whistleblowers,
and hateful / radicals
of those / just asking
for rights, would pretend
that the promises of covenant / mean nothing
unless the person / is just / like
you.

But then—standing / in that cold,
with that door
slammed / in front of you—something
shifts.

Covenant / is a promise
between the people / of this faith,
but it is also / a promise / between our self
and our faith, and sometimes, nothing
takes more faith / than staying.

Choosing / to speak / of your broken heart
to those / who are brave enough
to face / change, to stay
in dialogue / and have those hard
conversations / you never wanted
to have, and choosing / to be angry
rather than walk / away: all
of these / are holding true
to your promises.

When covenant / breaks, we
are sent back / to the beginning
again, like a toddler / on their time out,
to think about / what
just happened
, or a minister
on their sabbatical, called / to remember
what we fell in love with
in the first place.

This ship
is not / sinking, it is only
rocked / by the violent waves
of oppression, and everyone / has contributed
to the oppression / of someone,
if not / everyone. May

that humility / keep us listening, even
when our own pain / hasn’t
been heard yet, even
when our relationships / are shattering
like crystals / falling
to cold stone, even
when all you need is a hug / and your community
won’t / open its arms
yet.

When covenant / breaks,
we need to come home / to trust. To trust
that there are others out there
who would have supported you / if they were only
there, and to trust / that our faith
will always / be here tomorrow, bound
by nothing / more or less / than the promises
made / by people / willing
to fight, like a golden web / glimmering
with dew in the first light / of morning, because—

when covenant / breaks, it is a tear,
merely, in a web / still holding
strong, and as long / as we believe
in ourselves, and in the greatness
that we could become / together,
then we can always / come back
tomorrow, roll up our sleeves,
and start weaving
again.

About the Author

Frances Koziar

Frances Koziar (she/her/hers) is an active Canadian UU young adult living in Kingston, Ontario. She is a young (disabled) retiree, a social justice advocate, and a published author. (Koziar is pronounced Ko-zhar, where zh is the same as the French "je".)...

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