Or at least that’s how I always heard it,
listening in the car, head nodding
shocked that it would be declared
so openly, so wretchedly, so strongly.
But we hear what we want to hear;
what I heard as a shaken fist
was a plaintive consolation,
a declaration that only God knows.
Only God knows ones troubles,
the humiliations, the calumnies,
the myriad fardels one bears,
until at long last life lifts away.
But I had my thoughts, and God
knew none of them, cared for
none of them, as he was a
myth, a fairy story told to children,
like Santa and the Easter bunny; great
for Hollywood epics, but mute before
the horrors great and small which
never seemed to be diminished by Him.
My troubles are with an Emptiness, a Void,
a God-shaped hole as big
as the universe, swallowing it in
its event horizon. God the ultimate cipher.
The easy sureties of childhood will
never return; history has worked me
like rough leather. Age hardens
one under the incessant, beating sun.
But why struggle with what you don’t believe?
My struggles are with the real,
and my loves are with the real.
That’s all for which anyone can ask.