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By Bobbi Lurie

Tall shadows, bent in places, cover and uncover me.  

Gesticulating strangers crowd the entryway  

Where I am planted like a crop growing human feelings.  


The marquee on the church says: Blessed Are The Meek 

But the religious who weep, who enter  

Turn their heads to profiles as they pass.  


I am tarnished by the sun, weathered over  

On this particular Tuesday, April, and  

The rank smell of humanity fills me.  


Sounds from the choir leak through to the street  

But their songs do not touch me,  

Not even in the barefoot places  


Only the occasional kindness of a stranger,  

The curve of his back, a slope rushing past me,  

Is luminous, the coin pressed in my hand…  


And yes, I beg  


I open my palm  

As Jesus did  



The Sisters of the church arm in arm,  

Covered with the black protection,  

                      smile as they leave,  

Welded in belief and the repeatable  


I am shamed by my separated spirit 




I press myself deeper  

Into the mute tulips  

This bedspread where I lay my head at dusk  


Clouds threaten to stroke me with pneumonia  

But I welcome the thought of the hospital cot  

The boldness of death, yes, I welcome it  


The skyline stretches itself out like a lie  

The city darkens into twinkling lights  

I rest my face in the gentle, gentle  


Previously published in "Confluence" and in Lurie's 2nd book, "Letter from the Lawn" 

Bobbi Lurie is the author of  four poetry collections: ”The Book I Never Read," "Letter from the Lawn," "Grief Suite" and "the morphine poems."

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