Wednesday, June 10, 2020
In Lieu of Tablets
They say the Eye of the Needle was a gate in Jerusalem,
so narrow that you had to unload your camel to lead it through.
Then again, they say that if God makes a door as wide
as the eye of a needle, the way becomes so wide
that all can pass through: camels, tents, wagons, all.
They'll say anything, you know. Listen at your peril.
What Jesus meant is plain enough to me.
I can't bring myself to pay some poor schmo
to do my grocery shopping for me. I mask up once a week,
take my life in my hands, wash well. I think of the people
who crouched in cellars four years long
in Sarajevo. This is doable.
There is a thunderous knocking on the door, on all the doors.
Not yet morning and the sky full of fearful stars. Prayer
that doesn't begin or end with listening
is only a complaint, or a harangue.
The long slow sift of anxious scholarship, that's one.
The measures, pencil-marked and checked,
and checked again on fine-grained wood; that's two.
Dishes carefully washed and set to dry; that's three.
Three things that are pleasing to God.
Go tell the crowd that the golden calf
was a mistake. But the burning here
means so much more than that. And I
am commanded to wait. If anything is handed to me
you'll be the first to know.