free verse
February 12, 2011

Discovery

I am a traveler, you can see it in my feet,
the way they shift and never settle and make me sway,
and even though you have walked the way
and you reach out your hand for mine
to show me paths leading into the undergrowth,
I recoil and repent and rejoice in my repenting
and tell you that you are not right.
I know that you are not right.
But you are disappearing in the dark,
and I follow your unrighteousness.
I smell you in my footsteps.
I taste you on my skin.
Yours is the quiet breathing
that I follow through the night.
And as my hair comes undone,
strand by strand falling on my neck,
and as I realize that I have lost my shoes,
I think I should turn back.
I know I should turn back.
But you are disappearing in the dark,
and I follow your unrighteousness.
I feel you on my cheek.
I hear you in my breath.
You must wonder why I follow.
You must wonder why I let the branches
brush and scrape against my arms.
You must think I am a fool.
You must know that the woods are deep
and that you are not right
and that I am a pilgrim in this land
and that I follow your unrighteousness.
But you are disappearing in the dark.

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free verse
February 7, 2011

Salvation

we have known what it is like to be old
we have walked miles in shoes that were too small
we have bent our spines beneath burdens almost too heavy to carry
we have slept on the ground under a blanket that would not cover our feet
we have seen the end recede with our approach

we went on even as sunlight faded and
we let ourselves drift inland (though
we knew we had to follow the sea)

we left behind the sound of waves crashing on jagged rocks for silence and
we have felt the lacking

we have followed paths of sheep we know we will not see
we wonder where our burden has gone
we wonder why our spines have not straightened
we repeat “be not far from me o Lord: thou art my succour, haste thee to help me”
we wander with our empty backs to the shore