I believe
that I shall see
the goodness of the LORD
in the land of the living.
(Psalm 27:13)

I no longer want to forestall hope
to locate it in God’s future
so clearly beyond
my reach,
beyond this life

It’s time for hope now, in the
land of the living that is
now — even if now
is only a deceptive tease
a shadow of the living land
on the other side of that curtain

I believe
in the goodness of the LORD
for today, for these fleeting hours
the goodness of the LORD taking on
time and space and beauty and togetherness
against the rush
the noise
the callousness
the neglect

It’s long past time for this land
to be living, so long washed
in a baptism of blood
as if
that would save us
but let the blood flow in veins again
no more through the streets
or under the swingsets
let the blood have being
so that the being might dance
and by the stomping rhythm of feet
the land itself might have
its heartbeat
its pulse sparked
not electrocuted because
the dancing feet will finally teach us
that instruments of death
cannot start life

Stomp! the exclamation point of a demand:
I will no longer delay hope
we will no longer designate hope
for the after life — no
hope after
is not hope at all
but rather
a crumpled article in newsprint
reporting back from the other side
that things will change in the by-and-by
but this day
on this side
of life
I refute
eventual hope

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