Orange rays on the dusty brown road
Unconceal glass, bottle tops and dung
As herd and man move slowly along
Kicking the echoes of liquor sold.
Drunken men sing:
The liquor squeezing a cacophony
Of embalmed truths out through their mouths
From dizzy fractions of their brains.
My transistor talks of heaven and hell,
Of Peter, Paul, John and Jesus:
The message of a preacher.
His voice unearths memories of Sara and Abram
Who were here in this room.
There they stood, over the bed
Invoking the Spirit of God upon
My shivering shriveled self.
Brother, come fellowship with us – she beseeched
In the presence of God there’s fullness of joy
There you’ll be healed – he added
Stead I wailed that the fever wouldn’t let me
That I trusted in the anti-malarial pills
And a good rest.
They went alone.
That same night this same transistor
Stopped one of its nightly lullabies
To state in a somber smoky timbre that
A hundred people or more who’d gone west
To find their God had been shelled northward.
Sara and Abram were here
On earth this day the twenty fourth last year.
I weep. I’m here but for my feeble faith.