The Sabbath
And yet, a day to work, for here is one
Who cannot work, who is shut out:
Long-term unemployed.

The waters of life await,
But are gathered together, held back, shut in:
“Thus far shall you come, and no farther”
Thus also is the man to dry desert land confined.

Healing is known here, beyond a miniature Jordan
The promised land held out, much as a lottery:
First-come, first-served; winner-take-all.
This land of exile is not a place for the lonely, the unaided.
His exodus long overdue.

On this day, ‘in-valids’ are to be seen
And not healed.
Their futility lamented, perhaps
But expected, built-in
Not allowed to disturb the Rest.
Yet is there rest, where the joy of work
Has never been known?
When will we be free to take up our beds
And walk home?

Bypassing this baptism
The question arrives:
“Do you want to be healed?”
What repentance is this? What hair shirt?
A new week demands a new confession (yes)
A new rite, or perhaps,
A good long walk.

For the world, beyond the river
Is now your oyster.


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