Tuesday, June 06, 2006

The Mercy of Lazarus

Groggy, sure, and in the midst of bad dreams,
it must have been a dispirited awakening -
expecting everything settled, the long night
without interruption suddenly interrupted,

like a four A.M. alarm bell but worse, the rock
rolled back, to be called forth, told to pick up
the yoke, to pay your bills, get the roof fixed,
to become a bit of proof in the lord's affidavit.

Now the crowd pushes forward, demanding
to hear your cries of thanks. If you refused,
crawled back to your tomb, well, their hope,

lately upraised, would need a tomb of its own.
Where would be His miracle without your deceit -
your laugh and eager shout, the outstretched arms?

Stephen Dobyns
Mystery, So Long
Penguin, 2005