Monday, September 5, 2011


or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Enough

Esau said, "What do you mean by all this company that I met?" Jacob answered, "To find favor in the sight of my lord." But Esau said, "I have enough, my brother; keep what you have for yourself."

Genesis 33: 8-9

I was born with five tiny bruises
on my heel, the little shit
had an innate talent for grasping.
I still walk with a limp.
Some wounds never heal.

I grew up,
my brother stole
my inheritance. I would’ve killed him then,
but my mother warned him. He slunk away.
Out of reach,
not out of mind.

I was left
to look after my lost inheritance,
with an old man who gave it away,
and a mother who mocked me for losing it—
her constant nagging refrain, reminding me
how Jacob would have done things:
it’s better to work smart than hard.
But there were wiser sayings
from kinder lips:
The Lord sends rain
on the just and unjust alike.

I wrestled
with visions of my brother
wearing his hand-me-down
blessing in a land of milk and honey,
and my own slow-wits.
I spent my time revising:
if only I had said this
if only I had packed a lunch.
I put my muscle against these thoughts,
it was monotony.

I threw up
my hands: Enough is enough!
I learned to let go,
to repay evil with a hug, to recognize
enough. That is my blessing—
not marked by a new name,
but a quick exit from the story.

Now, I make my own lentil stew.
It’s delicious. I eat it every day.

1 comment:

Ryan A. Johnson said...

This is a lot better than the prose version.