Saturday, September 27, 2014


You are God of the people
   by which you have meant at all times
and in all places
            the poor who are hungry
            the poor who are homeless
the poor who are righteous

You are God of justice
   by which you have loved the widows
and the fatherless
            and the just who are
            at their own expense
            since there was first a widow
            since the newest orphan became desolate
            since ever justice had such name.

Yet I wonder what you think
            of the girl who loved
            who said yes when she should have said no
            who stayed quiet when she should have spoken
and the man who took your name that hurt her.

I wonder what you think
            of the people who took your name in water
            but are still loving lies more than truth
            who live the easy and the comfortable
            who are running in fear, seeing neither
the running, nor the fear.

I know a person and a dozen scarred deep
            by those water people, and thick
            by your words at the wrong time
            in the wrong place for
            very wrong reasons.
And the mouths, oblivious, go on speaking.

I’m thinking of impact, Father, of words and love
            And how this church of souls
            by which I mean living people
            have left craters I have seen
            deep and tender.
And I don’t mean liturgy.

And if orphans still are weeping
            illiterate and unloved
And widows who’ve suffered worse than husband death
            work three jobs and still
            have hungry mouths end of day
            and no clothes for dirty bodies

If the poor exist—I don’t mean live—
            in bungalows of iron sheets
            cardboard walls and canvas
            and look every day at empty
            mocking clean houses

I don’t know how to ask you to
   wake up about
   rich people being careless
   with each other and the poor.
   With you.

I know you could be homeless
Could be hungry
Could be ill
   Into those sharp realities I have no
   trouble placing you.

But we have our own sharpness hidden behind fronts
    And I guess that’s what I mean.
   That’s where I have trouble placing you.

Wake up.
   And wake us up with you
   so we could see rippled craters.
   So we could believe you do too.
So we could believe you care.

Wake up.
   And mend us to loving and to living
   living well, by which I mean
   your life, not American or
    upper middle class

Wake up
   to your Body wounding itself
   and do something about it.
   So that we might too.

You are God of the people
     by which is meant the people
in all times
in all ages
in all places
            all in one image
choose it or not.

            Wake up. 

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