NR Digital

Poetry

by Sarah Ruden

A C.S. LEWIS BODICE-RIPPER, FROM AFRICA

In making books there is no end,
And little merit. You have read
Of world on world that has no friend,
In volumes equally as dead;
And if I sent a screed to you
On life unending, you would sigh,
As, certainly, you’ve read that too,
And I am plainly going to die.
But what about a hot desire –
In a few words, because you share it?
A fantasy, a secret fire?
But if you’re bored, of course I’ll spare it.
Nineteen years old, I took a ride
Across the fields and met the one
Who spent entire months inside,
Only remembering her son.
It was as strange as in a book –
And yet she spoke to me and smiled.
She had a silly, open look,
As if I were her hapless child.
My eyes resolved on flat contempt –
That stayed with me in this new land,
Where grief, from which I seem exempt,
Nests bare and shaking in my hand.
But what about the ulcerous spot
Scoured by the gravelly blood of yearning,
Where so much is, but love is not?
The names, the theories for that burning!
Let Mercy strip my life of sleep.
Renew me, give me eyes to see.
Since You have paid, the truth is cheap:
There is one God, for her and me.

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