Standing Vigil

Updated: Sep 28, 2021

Over the walls to God they called out:


“Everyone, each of you, all of us must

weep, wail— soak the day and night, a mighty

river flowing without rest, grieve

every sight, tears that cry tears.”

“Stand tall. Offer fit praises to him.

Don’t go to bed. Go to prayer. Be watchmen!

In God’s very presence, pour out your heart!

Lift up holy hands before the holy one!

Think of our little ones! Homeless! Harried!

Faint with hunger, no place to lay down their heads.”


O’ LORD, examine the clusters, consider the grapes—

drawing what wine for what joy at what feast?

Will these women angle an honest offer for other urchins—

after eating their own infants as frugality?

Even if it is killed in the God's house,

The priests and the prophets will do what?

Little kids, old folks lay out [can't tell these are survivors]

under the sky, on the ground. Youths,

just past games, all but married, every breath

a smile and “so soon some . . .” —the day of your fury.

You struck, no pause, no pity. You slaughtered them.

You, as commencing a sacred day, assembled them.

(My skin crawling— their danger before your scrutiny—

not then even yet the day of the Lord’s fury. Fury

to be poured out, to be left here, to be the fingered token of his visit.)

Them I instructed. Them I nurtured.

Them my enemy consumed.

Lamentations vlgt/bti 2/18>22