Friday, December 15, 2006

Dayienu: “It is enough”

This beautiful poem arrived in my Writers' Almanac newsletter this morning:

Poem: "Just One God" by Deborah Cummins, from Counting the Waves. © Word Press. Reprinted with permission.

Just One God

                              after Wesley McNair

And so many of us.

How can we expect Him

to keep track of which voice

goes with what request.

Words work their way skyward.

Oh Lord, followed by petition —

for a cure, the safe landing.

For what is lost, missing —

a spouse, a job, the final game.

Complaint cloaked as need —

the faster car, porcelain teeth.

That so many entreaties

go unanswered

may say less about our lamentable

inability to be heard

than our inherent flawed condition.

Why else, at birth, the first sound

we make, that full-throttled cry?

Of want, want, want.

Of never enough. Desire

as embedded in us as the ancestral tug

in my unconscienced dog who takes

to the woods, nose to the ground, pulled far

from domesticated hearth, bowl of kibble.

Left behind, I go about my superior business,

my daily ritual I could call prayer.

But look, this morning, in my kitchen,

I'm not asking for more of anything.

My husband slices bread,

hums a tune from our past.

Eggs spatter in a skillet.

Wands of lilac I stuck in a glass

by the open window wobble

in a radiant and — dare I say it? —

merciful light.

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