Last week the students in my Writing Close to the Earth online class read George Orwell's classic essay, "Politics and the English Language." In it ... Read More
You zealot fool,
primed to a hair trigger,
your belly squirming with lies
and your heart pumping hate’s acid
through pimply arms—
blood acid you drain from your own cut veins
and throw into the faces of young girls
You dirty, wild donkey,
you liar, you coward,
you devolved slum pig,
you enemy of liberty and justice for all,
you monkey from the forest,
you son of the son of a curse.
I am to love my enemies,
but how can I love you?
Not this, Lord.
Do not make me love him. I hate him.
He cries out to be killed, he begs for it.
He violates the deepest rhythms of this good earth.
He is a suicide standing on a ledge that he has chosen
because it is high enough
to give him momentum enough
to penetrate hell on impact.
I will not touch that leper.
I do not care if he rots in his own disease.
You tell me to love my enemies,
but it is too much, too much, too much this time.
So, oh God. Give me what I cannot muster.
Send me back, and back, and back again,
and put me in the close company of Hagar,
that mother who was traded like eggs for eggs
then thrown out the car window like a paper wrapper.
Show me the lines on a face that had no rights,
lines carved by the collateral damage
of a chosen race learning faith,
and let me kiss her hair while she
kisses her son before she leaves him to die.
Show me how you (Beer-lahai-roi) intervened,
not by a ram in the bushes,
but by the voice of Compassion who hears
the cry of the unwanted.
Show me the trajectory of the unfaith of the chosen
compounded by epochs;
and show me my own guilt.
Play the fugue for me so that I might weep,
that I might pour ashes on my own head,
and beat my own chest.
Make me penitent, contrite, sober, and then help me
place my hands on the bellies of every unborn
mother carrying every unborn child of Hagar,
and feel the feet of a baby who is the son of a son
of a son of Abraham, and whisper, “Live. Live.”