Lenten Poem

by Reb Fleming

Lament….. Weary

Weary is to tired what poverty is to broke.
You can joke about being broke:
“Hey man, I don’t have a penny in my pocket.”
Or decline an invitation without regret:
“Sorry, I can’t go to lunch,
I gave the last of my money to my kids.”
You can do it because you know and I know its temporary,
There’s a paycheck coming and all you have to do is bide your time.
But poverty wears the same dress every day because nothing else is
hanging in the closet
Her face has grown thin and her voice shrill and she screams at her kids
even though she loves them
If she knew what to do about the situation she might
but then again she might not
because hunger stole her hope long ago
Tired means I put in a hard day’s work and my muscles ache
Tired means I fried my brain on a stressful project and even in sleep
I can’t get it to turn off
Tired means working overtime and not getting paid
but it doesn’t matter because you can see the light at the end of the tunnel
and you know that you’re ‘almost there’
But weary has walked through exhaustion and come out with bleached bones
Weary has spent all of its options, played all of its face-cards
performed all of its tricks up front, early-on
without getting so much as a chuckle or a smattering of applause
Weary is dried-up-desperate
who sits for hours in the same chair, staring
Weary walks from one room to another not remembering
nor truly caring what she was looking for
Weary dips one final time into rage and sends the money-changers tables
upside down with a strength and a fury no one knew he possessed
Weary enters the great city like a husband his own bedroom
only to find his wife in the arms of another man
And gasps
not out of anger
but hurt
and stares, unable to take his eyes from the scene
Slowly his body rocks
back and forth
and in a whisper only she can understand because she knows the sound of his voice
asks
Why?
Why, Jerusalem?
Why have you forsaken me?

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