Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Born in Egypt



author's note:

An apt poem, I believe, for these overheated times.


BORN IN EGYPT

When I was child
the Bible told me:
with enduring patience
you can escape Egypt

and indeed I was eventually
able to leave

but not completely...
even after all these years
the pain of bondage
still rages within me.

Nonetheless
I can laugh an honest laugh
and find heaven in my heart...

yet I know
at any moment
the fire may blaze
back up
to consume the king
of my judgment.

But these fights with myself
prompt me to seek the solace
of the cool still pool.

Down in its darkness
I soothe the latest burn
and in so doing, heal
the old wounds
just a little bit more--
a little bit more.

Maybe someday
I'll be well enough to help
some of the many
who struggle with
a rage born in Egypt:

maybe they (like me)
have tried and failed
to destroy the fire--

can we ever master those flames?

I will--
when I raise
that righteous sword
from the ashes of my sorrow.

I say:
we're actually lucky
to have experienced
such indignity
in early Egypt--

otherwise
we might lack
the fervor to battle
the injustices of our world.



© 2017, Michael R. Patton
My War for Peace: a poetry book

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