Saturday, January 25, 2014

Elegy

Elegy

Not a word of scripture to be quoted
over these bones but, at graveside,

he would have tolerated a short, silent prayer.
He took it as it came; for what it was worth.

Good for the sake of righteousness.
Honest in the cause of truth.

Brave for honor's sake.
Kind by decree of the human heart.

He'd put aside any fanciful notions
of heavenly reward or his possible rebirth -

(he was convinced of his own annihilation)
and thus, resolutely, he went to his death.

Quietly cherishing joy, enduring the pain,
he came closer to surrender

than any religious man I know.  If he lacked anything
it was the imagination and longing to be anything

other than the man he was.
As they lower his body now into the grave

I am struck by how closely
a coffin resembles a crib.

O child of God, to surrender is to yield,
earnestly and humbly, to your destiny.

                        (Unpublished)

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