In exile

In exile, the forcibly dispossessed
people of Yahweh receive a letter from afar.
The mad and lonely prophet
instructs them to stop resisting,
to make peace with their conquerors.
Reluctant dwellers in an alien city,
they have expended many tears for Jerusalem,
and the God who dwelt in its temple.
The holy city they called home, lies ruined;
they are cut off, abandoned.

Now, the prophet tells them
in his long-distance epistle,
their separation from those ancient stones
must not lead to despair.
They are to trust impossibly
that the strange purposes
of their apparently absent God
will yet be revealed.

“Become dual citizens,”
the treasonous words of the missive urge.
“Make yourself neighbours to your enemies,
and seek their well-being; along with that
of their heathen city.
Accept offers of friendship;
build, plant, take jobs, establish businesses
and call this place home.
Fall in love, take wives, beget children
and look to the time when you can
take pleasure in your grandchildren;
you will be here for some time yet.
But it will be all right.

“Don’t forget, covenant people of God,
to pray for your adopted city,
and its people.
In this way your enemies will become
your friends and you will all benefit.
Yes, and it will be all right.”

© Ken Rookes 2013

Other poems for next Sunday can be found here and here

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2 thoughts on “In exile

  1. Pingback: On the border | poemsinseason

  2. Pingback: turned back, praising | poemsinseason

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