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A Cry to Heaven (after Psalm 6)          Paul Deane

At least a wall might crack, crumble, weaken, fall,
Tumble, overturned by roots, rain, wind and weather.
At least the hail that blasts fields bare might falter, fail,
Till roar rattles, patters, pitters, melts midair.
But ah! Your anger, Lord, lasts longer than my bones can bear!

How long? Relent! In mercy mend me, for my spirit, spent
Faints as a fire's embers glowing go to ash.
How long? Return! Restore me, stir me, blow me bright
With love released! Come brand hope's blessing as a brilliant coal
Whose mark remains forever, whose burning makes me whole.

Is death then my destination? Plummet, pell-mell expiration?
The grave may be good for headstone silence, but I never knew
Its plots to sing your praises, God! What glory does it bring
That my bed's an abyss, that my sheets like shrouds tossed in storm-tumult
Are slick with sweat? Must I weep forever? Will you hear me yet?

And yet He hears echoes crying heaven's tears
Like rain running free down face of gaunt granite
Which it softens into soil. Just so God's grace like an aromatic oil
Confounds its fragrance with the sorrows that it soothes. Begone! You lie
Who mock and scoff at God, for Heaven hears my cry
And answers every echo that proceeds against the sky.

Copyright © Paul Deane, 1999. All rights reserved.