Beggar-woman

Sky curves over my flying hair

Like hallowed cathedral spires,

The light of the heavenly lamps

Touches softly between my shoulder blades

An invisible caress tugging me down

My knees beg to pray

In the muddy earth

Down, down, they say

Bending helplessly towards the prayer hall

Of the land

The grassy greens stretch long and flowery

Between two strips of concrete

Amidst car smoke and the turning of wheels

Amidst burning rubber and the whir of little engines

My knees surrender to the mighty is-ness

The song of life echoing like a prayer from

North to south to east to west

The chatter of the people is church bells

Clanging from ear to ear

As I am brought low, palms to earth

Bent over double, crouching

I cannot hold the prayer that surges from vein to vein

From cell to cell

From bone to bone

From every in-breath to out-breath

I cough out my note

I am part of the song of songs

One key or one string

Now plucked now utterly silent

And in the middle of the marketplace they

Strike me

and I sing on my knees, bleeding and dusty

for as the star is a star and a rose is a rose

as the instrument is just so, an instrument

so too the beggar is a beggar

and when he is struck, sings out in sweet pain

on his knees in the grassy altar

his pain is his song

his pain is his prayer

and the earth his prayer hall.

 

Image Source: https://hips.hearstapps.com/hmg-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/images/stained-glass-thanksgiving-square-dallas-texas-1494433394.jpg

 

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