Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A poem

My sister Carl Ann Davis is a professor of creative writing (I think I got that right) at the College of Charleston in South Carolina. Her son told a friend that 'Jesus died of natural causes in his sleep' and it was such a wonderful statement she did what she does: she built a poem around that seed. What she did not realize until the next day was that she had been following this blog and it had influenced the poem deeply.

The words she put down capture so much of what is important about helping our brothers and sisters in need. It is, to me, simply beautiful but since she is my sister I may be a biased judge. So here it is:

Jesus Died of Natural Causes

Jesus died of natural causes in his old age,
and received a proper burial. Before that, a certain amount
of dew turned to frost, right under the noses
of those waking to it. Just the right number
of thoughts occurred, and one by one
fell off the radar, the radar of what
was not worth asking, and no one thought to. No one
went hungry at 2 a.m. or died of thirst
at noon. The orphans harmonized
just beyond the gate, a harmony of orphans
and a gate clanking, the noontime thirst
of the orphans at the closing of the gate. Enough to slay him
on a normal day, but Jesus had grown
hardpan heart, a deaf ear, and a limp. At the temple
it was he who stayed late,
listening to a child of twelve
speak in riddlelike parables.
He hallucinated a destination
and walked to it, hoping to be blinded.
When the earth shook, he thought finally,
this is what it was for,
the something I came to do.
But that something was done to others, not him,
and among the lucky ones,
he lived sorting through rubble—an eternity,
it seemed— until help arrived.

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