Poetry speaks to the heart through the experience of another. The
effort it takes to lay aside our own views and feelings and enter into someone
else's vision helps us to prepare our hearts to be open to the wisdom of God.
This Sunday's Poetry
The beggar comes at mealtimes
Later he appeared to the eleven themselves as they were sitting at table. Mk 16:14
The door locked, we’re mouthing Passover
lamb scrapes. James raises a cup
of therapeutic wine. Before we drink,
a light so intense we gasp, like stepping
off a cliff, or the rush of mad love.
The master we saw die naked
two days ago, now beside the bread
crusts and dirty dishes, presto,
garbed in white brighter than the sun, hands
outstretched for bread crumbs like a beggar.
He always come when meat and Esau’s
mess of pottage are in the table,
as though banqueting in paradise
on manna the archangels baked
is too gauzy, table talk too expurgated.
Up there no biblical bickering,
no one filches drachmas from the purse.
No one in the boat doubts when waters rage
or asks for resurrections from the dead.
Above, no brassy sons bring pushy
mothers to grab the thrones beside the king.
The cock need not crow.
Why then does he come?
Mercy hungers for our treacheries.
From God Drops and Loses Things
by Kilian McDonnell
Published by St John’s University Press, 2009.
Used with kind permission.
Copyright: The Order of St Benedict, Collegeville, Minnesota.