Friday, June 04, 2010


Pentecost +2 - Year C

Jesus begins a wrestle with death
seeing this widow
at a border space
a city gate - life or exile
armed only with compassion
a word spoken aloud
enfleshes a living of compassion
revealing every choice
routine death fatigue or
coffin-emptying compassion

this widow silenced
with grief unbounded
ready for history's ash heap
finds not just voice again
but compassion enacted
clearing her keening
drying her weeping
on a pilgrimage to Baptizer John
announcing compassion eternal
life in the midst of death

and now this little you
stands in another gateway
miles and years removed
choosing life or exile
for the silenced
if there were one it would be cause to wonder
if there were one it would be cause to weep
but the missing are numbered
in too many hundreds, thousands, millions
until there are none, we will not sleep

[Thanks to Paul Nuechterlein for stimulating the first stanza and to the great Malvina Reynolds for the last five lines, slightly varied here]

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