Thursday, May 8, 2008

Poetry: Scent of a Shepherd

Scent of a Shepherd

From the nightmare I wake
in pain and motion.

The world passes by upside down
an undulating sea of blue sky.

My contorted body screams
unused to the position
and broken bones.

My hair swings low
swaying with every step
blocking the sight of his sandaled feet.

His stride is long and even
shoulders miraculously broad;
my weight unequal to the cross.

My arms hang loose as I wonder;
should I hang on?

Does it hurt?

Do his stretching arms
remind him of the wood?

Does he thirst?

Wrapped as a collar round his muscled neck
borne like a yoke neither easy nor light.

Bitter streams of tears flow over my brow.
I should be in the dust before him
wiping his feet with my grief-soaked hair.

Instead, he carries me.

From the precipice he rescues me.
As I lunge for the edge
he draws me back.

To stop my fighting
he breaks my legs.

Despite my cries he lifts me
drapes me
carries me.

I breathe the scent of him
of sheep and wood
of blood and wine
of bread and man
of sun and moon and stars
of eternity
of home.

His cadence soothes.
The sweat of his exertion sweet
as opium; intoxicating.

My sobs relent.

I turn my ear to his chest
full of his scent
and listen to the drumbeat of dawn’s creation
the thrumming of the universe;
God’s heart beating against my cheek.

And I rest.

May 2008

No comments: