... from her new collection, Red Bird.
It just seemed right for Holy Week. See if you agree.
Of The Empire
We will be known as a culture that feared death
and adored power, that tried to vanquish insecurity
for the few and cared little for the penury of the
many. We will be known as a culture that taught
and rewarded the amassing of things, that spoke
little if at all about the quality of life for
people (other people), for dogs, for rivers. All
the world, in our eyes, they will say, was a
commodity. And they will say that this structure
was held together politically, which it was, and
they will say also that our politics was no more
than an apparatus to accommodate the feelings of
the heart, and that the heart, in those days,
was small, and hard, and full of meanness.
Ride on, King Jesus, we say, and we pray. No one can hinder you. Ride on, and keep going, and don't stop here. Don't stop at my house, on my block, in my neighborhood. Leave well enough alone. Ride on, King Jesus.
(But he stops. He always stops, bends over, stoops down, stumbles, dies. He stops to walk with us, to soften hard hearts that will not walk with him on his way to the cross.)
O stop today King Jesus. Even when we turn our backs, even when we do not want you, come and stoop to us, and soften our hearts, that we might care what happens to the birds of the air and the lilies of the field, the rivers, the hungry children with their open hands. Stop for us, and teach us to stop for one another. AMEN
P.S. the part in italics is by me.