Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Even You (2005)

Even You

blood spilled
On the outskirts of a Baghdad
Women in white linen are
Cloaked in a heavy garment of solitude
A mother
Runs to clutch her lifeless child to her chest
Holding for what seems to be an eternity what is left of a hand
Once small and sleeping
it used to clasp her swollen breast
Now the breast is
reticent and red
and full of rage
at the twenty four year old solider from Georgia
who was not looking to be a hero
just looking for a way to be an engineer
and now has mastered the art of war

And men say it is in the name of freedom

Tonight, having mastered the art of war,
A stately room somewhere outside of Washington
A finely crafted pen
Drew a line in the sand
And called it
A defensive action
Nearly five hundred eyes
Looked on
And hundred more lips
Remained mum
Their scream stolen and hidden behind their breath

And men say it is in the name of freedom

Tonight in the shadow of a stolen scream
somewhere east of the Sacramento River
A child’s fate was sealed
With another pen
The ink called sacrifice
the battle called the budget
the victims: those who will not fight back
with the glitz and glamour
and a little fanfare
the American Dream
has been signed away

And men say it is sacrifice.

Tonight in the afterglow of dreams
Somewhere in a county in California
There is nobody answering the phones
Nobody to listen to the calls for help
From the homeless, the seniors, the youth
Who are begging for
The I need/ we need/we all need
Fathers/mothers/mentors/records expunged
A hand to pull us away from a lover monster’s fist
A flu shot, a diaper, a bus ticket, a case manger, a doctor,
A home
A child waits for help, but they have sent all the workers away

And men say that it is in the name of sacrifice.

Tonight, a child has become a male, but not a man.
In a city outside a suburb
young life is flowing into the streets
In mourning of his life
And liquor bottles
Become mosaics
to his end
gone before he could finish the cell phone message
is mama I love
On the other side of the mirror
Sits a Samson
Without his hair
In a prison cell
Making things he will never own
Knowing he will never buy anything again except time
And even that is out of stock

And men say it is in the name of justice.

Tonight justice has retired for the evening
And hope is perched
Somewhere on a big beautiful church doorstep
Where a homeless man slept
And well meaning parishioners
Hurried, fearful, and overwhelmed to their cars
Thinking to themselves that Jesus knows my heart

And men call it faith.

Tonight faith waits
Somewhere inside apartment 123
a young mother weeps
because yet again
another man has bruised her heart
as well as her body
with false promises
and left the table
only after the plate was bare
nothing is left
not even for his sons

And men call it love.

Tonight the sons of God have gathered before him to offer their love
Yet, somewhere, just outside of
But not close enough to earth
Mary’s daughters are weeping
And weeping
Their tears thick like ink
Curdled like milk
Hot like blood
Enough to fill the oceans that create the distance between them
And men say it is in the name of sacrifice.
And men say it is in the name of freedom.
And men say it is in the name of faith
And men say it is in the name of love.
And men say it is in the name of God.

But is God listening to the sounds within the world, one must wonder, what on earth is it that He hears?

Yet somewhere
In a place called Calvary
In a small clearing
Before a scant crowd
Four stakes were driven into the soul of God
And tears were shed for
Our failure to be
All the things we name
And tears were shed because
Jesus knows the hearts of men.

And still,
God says,
“ But I have called you, even you, by name.”

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