by Robert Huntington (1958-)
You smiled, took my arm, and whispered some words in my ear;
I did not understand, but they must have meant
For a tremor shook the depths of my being,
And my dead thoughts, my dead hopes, stirred to life.
Surely Lazarus felt this self-same joy
When our Lord touched him and said “Live.”
And the worms and the maggots disappeared,
And the bones came together, bone to bone,
And the sinews and flesh covered him,
And the wind put breath in him, and he lived, and stood up on his feet.
But then our Lord spake a few words more:
“You may live, but life remains the same as before;
Men still pass each other indifferently on the street;
Envy and calumny and deceit are unchanged;
Above all, love still struggles with shame
And finding no nourishment in hope,
Eats thistles and thorns, nourishing itself on despair.
It is not an act of kindness that I perform;
A wise man would prefer the worms.”