Photo credit: Colin Puchala
What I hadn’t understood before is that bit about the poor - in that room full of the scent of her perfume and the sound of her gratitude weeping on your wet feet - that you said they would always be with us.
It was your hand stretching out and blessing our foolish heads with promise.
We, who see the poor as a burden, who, if we feel anything about their lives at all, flit between guilt, or anger, or shame, but only enough that we might assure ourselves of our own goodness.
“Oh, the injustice!” [shake head, sip coffee, flip to horoscope.]
Then, those cheaply bought rivers of unearned emotion flood the banks of our hearts sufficiently, and we doggy paddle in the warm glory of them. (“What’s to be done/How can God be good/It makes me so sick.”)
But blessed are the poor.
Blessed are the weak.
And the foolish things shall shame the wise.
Because the presence of the poor here yet is paid proof of your mercy upon us, (though Heaven help them bear your generosity) and they are radiant in their inheritance.
You have spent a storehouse of kindness buying us back from our drowning poverty,
And still, you wait on our turning, on the slow, white blossoming of love unravelled.