this how Heaven's messenger behaves,
fleeing the hard-trowled earth
and our cooling holocausts?
Everything here is barren.
We expected you to teach us,
at least to erect some monument
glorying God. We knelt at first,
marvelling at the presence of an angel,
certain of absolution and a good harvest.
And when our prayers
failed to move you back to heaven,
we wailed our supplications louder,
burned our fruits and our fattenned lambs.
Where once we consulted the moon,
now we wanted an audible word,
not contented with the miracle
and craving explanations.
But the rains came neither late nor early,
this seasonal hunt no richer than the last.
We wrestled you down, no longer certain
how to procure a blessing.
If we could change you into fire
or break our bodies against you,
that would have meaning.
How surprised we were to find you
frail-boned and awkward,
your wings crumpling like paper.
If you could choose again,
would it be to deny us voices,
knowing they were not meant
to defend us from God?
We have torn your robes, your skin
as delicate as a moth's wing.
We have seen you naked and fragile.
Go back to your God, and tell him
we cannot live so near to mystery.
Leslie Baze © all rights reserved
All rights reserved