Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Holy Work

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The soles of your feet were
black from running in our
yard and the park without shoes.

The length of your body
fills the bathtub, but
you're still so little.

You believe in fairies
and leprechauns.
You believe birds
can fly to space.
You believe the clouds
could taste like vanilla
and the sky like blueberries.

As I bend over the bathtub
and cradle your foot,
I realize it's holy week.
This holy week,
this holy season has passed
me by—a car on the highway.

Forgive me Lord, it has been
six years since I last had
ashes rubbed on my
forehead.
Forgive me Lord, I won't
be at Maundy Thursday
services because I'll
be tucking children into bed.
Forgive me Lord, I won't
be singing Easter hymns
because the baby will
be napping.

But, I wash your foot
tenderly and think of
Jesus washing the
disciples' feet.
This is holy work too.


Mandy Henderly lives in Hendersonville, North Carolina, with her husband and two children. Before having children, she was a teacher at Lake House Academy in Hendersonville, and prior to that, she was a taught sophomore English at Pritzker College Prep in Chicago. Before becoming a teacher, she attended graduate school at the University of Dayton and studied poetry and writing with wonderful professors, including the former Pushcart Prize winner, Albino Carrillo. Lastly, prior to the University of Dayton, she attended Bluffton University and earned her Bachelor’s in English and Writing. While attending Bluffton, she studied with professors who have left an indelible mark on her memory and are still some of her greatest influences.


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