I like this one. It’s probably not one of my all time favorites, but only because most of those are something I wrote in response to a significant event. This one just came. And I like it. I also thought it might be irreverently appropriate as many people go back to school somewhere around now.
Formatting note: the way I wrote this every line that doesn’t begin with ‘How’ or ‘Have’ is indented. This is both small and important because poetry, as I write it is visual too and formatting matters. I can’t figure out how to make this happen here. Instead I’ve tried to create a similar effect through capitalization. But I wanted you to know how it should be. Any helpful hints from the more experienced?
How long O God, How long?
How long, O God, have you listened to this cry?
from Children in Egypt
and those wandering in the desert
from Children without a king,
and those with unjust kings.
from Children living in Exile,
and from those who have no home
from a Child crying from a Garden
and from those who loved him
How long, O God, have your Children waited?
for the answer left unspoken
for the action left undone
for the comfort held unseen
How long, O God, have there been tears?
did they begin outside the garden
or did Adam and Eve trip on the root of a beautiful tree
How long, O God, has there been pain?
did you name it good
or were you the first to feel it,
when your children ate what you had forbidden
Have mercy, O Lord, have mercy.
number our tears,
note the shaking of our sobs
record our cries to you
Have mercy O Lord have mercy
for we are mortal
and fear what the future brings us
Have mercy my Lord,
For you seem to love us.

Written 3/30/06