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.