POEM: It’s About Time

One day
I had a
came to me and said
Meet me tomorrow at 4:32 pm
On the bench
In the small park
At the corner of Ashland and Collingwood
Near your home
You have something I want
My first reaction was
Doesn’t consider all of the riches of the world
As but a penny?!
Doesn’t consider a thousand years
As but a second?!
What could God possibly
Want from me?!
My second reaction was
Isn’t that and place
Awefully specific?
I closed shop a little early that next day
And I sat there
In the park
Lots of traffic
But not a
It seemed somewhat
Know one there
Accept the neighborhood homeless guy
And, of course, me
So with perpetually bad timing
The homeless man blurts out
Yes, all of the riches of the world are as but a penny!
Yes, a thousand years is as but a second!
So be aware!
Now
A well dressed passerby
Shakes his head
Without breaking his gait
I was stunned
Buy the
I could
Muster a thought
He was walking away
So I
Blurted out
So, if all of the riches of the world are as but a penny
And a thousand years is as but a second
Can you spare a dime!?
Without turning
He lightly raised his hand
Giving a somewhat dismissive gesture
Just
Saying
Sure
In a sec

This short poem is an elaboration of a I once heard.  I liked the juxtaposition of the sense of and from a divine and a human .  The “better off” human(s) in this poem find themselves ironically betwixt the divine and “worse off” humans.  The exposes the gap between God and humans, as well as the gap between “better off” and “worse off” humans.  To someone with an immediate need, like the homeless, putting them off temporarily is essentially putting their need off essentially forever.  If not now, when?  The sad rationale that “better off” persons use regularly is that “the will always be with us” (to bastardize ’ words), so we can help them occasionally when it is convenient for us — thanks homeless people for presenting that ongoing opportunity!  Unfortunately, this typically falls far short of meeting the need of many persons at any given time.

It is no accident that I wrote and published this poem during the season.  was a homeless man without worldly riches.  If we were to look to as a model manifestation of and divinity, then celebrating would look little like , with its commercialization and focus on getting and .  For at least centuries, humans have had the resources to meet every basic human need.  Yet, a painfully huge proportion of “ day” humans go without basic needs.  This fact of stands as an indictment on the scarce and barren that carries the day for most of us much of the time.  This is a worthy to reflect upon this “ day.”

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