Monday, November 17, 2014


(Anyone who's reading this blog for some other reason, sorry for all the recent poetry reprints. It's just a convenient place to put them, when I want them to be re-read for some reason. This one was published in my third chapbook, _Doctor of Dead Letters_.)


I should have been prepared
By those TV shows
"Touched By An Angel"
"Joan of Arcadia"
How many actors have dressed up as God?
I used to wonder
If I, too
Could clip a halo-light on to my collar
Deadpan "I am an angel from God"
And become a religious experience

I should have been prepared
By all those actors
When the limo pulled up on the busy late night street
And the window rolled down
I saw his expensive tie
As he looked out coldly
And I thought "Must be some obnoxious rich guy"
But it was God

I should have been prepared
Couldn't he appear as anything, anywhere
A burning bush or a light from the sky?
This time he had a dome light
He turned to look at me and asked if I was saving something
I assumed that he meant the parking space
I was standing in
And said "not for you"
That may have been a mistake

I should have been prepared
There's a long tradition about how to talk to God
Humility, personal virtue
Reminding him of his good side
But of course he knew how I'd answer
And now I'd said it
"I am the creator of worlds", he said
"Where were you when I made the stars?
I am the Alpha and the Omega
And that parking space is mine
Your soul is mine"
And all of a sudden I knew who He was
He didn't have to do tricks like the TV actors do
When God wants you to know it's Him, you know it

I should have been prepared
I stuttered a bit
And having started with bravado, had to go on
"You are the destroyer of worlds too
The same stories that tell how you
Reimburse people in heavenly small claims court
Tell how you put others away for eternity
And when we say we don't understand
You start going on about how we're children
Or sheep. How we're your shiftless slum tenants."
He stopped me with a look

I should have been prepared
But He was merciful anyway
He'd heard my kind of blather billions of times before
Silently I knew that I'd been given another chance
And I stepped back out of the parking space
His. His.
And as his limo pulled up
I started to sing Hosannas

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