What Shall We Say?

This poem is born from a question that I’ve been considering midst the circumstances of the past year and a half and especially over past the summer though some part of the question has been being asked over a lifetime. I believe I know the answer. By that I don’t mean that I “think” I know the answer. Rather, it is an issue of faith — that in spite of data and circumstances which may lead one to believe otherwise, I believe.

You may listen to me read the poem via the player below.

What shall we say to these things?
Shall we comfort ourselves with expressions
Like the “undeserving poor”
Or “breakthrough infection”?
Shall we shrug off grief,
Show sadness the door
With, “What will be will be.”
Or, “What killed them were their
Comorbidities”?
What shall we say to these things?

And what about the other things?
What shall we say about grace?
About the luck good fortune brings
From some source from which we cannot trace
Back to anything other than…
Well, anything other than God,
Whether we know God or not.
Will we deflect the blessing with,
“Just a lucky shot.”
What about those other things?

What shall we say to these things?
Homicide, rape, financial collapse?
And what of the sunshine smile
And great surprise of a child’s laugh?
What word could bridge that breach
And hold the two and reach
Across the chasm of confusion,
Speak peace to the broken,
Drain the venom of words spoken
In haste or with hate or both,
Holding together the sadness and joy?

© Randall Edwards 2021
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About randamir

I pastor Grace Presbyterian Church in Kernersville, North Carolina which locals fondly refer to as K-vegas -- the town not the church. As D.T. Niles once said, "I am not important except to God."

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