A Quiet

A quiet poem when I want to shout
about the whole depraved, relentless
brilliant band of humans I belong to.

Turn to goodness,
second chances. How papyrus
just restored tells of Judas—

not the villain but
the Lord’s most trusted friend,
how only his steady love

could be counted on to do
the hardest thing. Let me think
inside out, upside

down, and sideways, remember
I’m one of the lucky who saw her brother
come home from war, gets to love him

as if before me is a whole other lifetime.
If there’s a patron saint of second chances
I surely wear her medallion, and may I add

“stupid” and “careless” to the list I opened
up with—what it takes to drive
through two-lane counties after nights without sleep,

to nod yourself awake, find your car
across the line. Oh, split-second chances,
all I don’t deserve, the judgments I hand out.

A jealous streak to rival Joseph’s brothers
who betrayed him, annuonced him dead.
We know the rest—the dreams, Pharaoh, the rise

to greatness. But most extraordinary—when Joseph
sent for the eleven he hadn’t seen since childhood,
served them a feast, revealed himself to their astonished

hearts, that room filled
with weeping men.
That room

filled with weeping.

“A Quiet” was originally published in
the Summer 2008 issue of Rock & Sling.

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