B.H. Fairchild, "A Man in a Machine Shop"
I read these words from Psalm 105, Twenty-first day: Morning Prayer -
36 He struck down the firstborn of their land,
the firstfruits of all their strength.
I usually read with the grafted-in-eyes of those delivered. But on this day I tried to imagine myself an aged Egyptian father...
I mumble godless prayers most days -
Let evening come. Let evening come.
For only in shadow can I see my son's face,
sunlight thieves my memory.
The horse and rider he hath thrown into the sea;
they were the fortunate fathers.
But me? I was left to wander grief's shore.
She carried other sons after him,
but he was my strength, my might, my first.
Many years I struck back at the hebrew deity,
cursing a god I could not see.
But no more.
I am old and tired;
only the sadness remains.
His people are long gone now,
as are the locusts and the hail.
Still, I continually seek his face.
The great Nile calls my name,
so on feeble legs I slip beneath the surface of time.
My faith? A millstone
and the undertow of memory.