Thursday, June 10, 2010


It was a colossal case of crossed wires.
When he stopped to beg a drop of water,
I misheard him. His mouth was gummy,
there was a horrible hubbub and my ears
have never been that hot. I thought he asked
for a pair of sandals. (The rhyme's more clear
in Aramaic.) Well, a poor cobbler
can't afford to give the work of his hands
away for free, any more than can
a carpenter, and I could see that he
hadn't far to go before he'd need
no shoes. (Prospects for their speedy return
seemed dim.) So I told the scrawny beggar
to move on with his cross and briars.

1 comment:

A son of Xerxes said...

Back then, I tended gates for Romans. Yobs
were ever in the road, and so he came
with his parade, smack-eyed, dripping. Blame
the rabbis, those as let mobs choose. Jobs
then weren’t that common for the common swabs
and harder for a man who bore the shame
of having shipped with Sidon pirates, named
him Xerxes, Jew of princely ways, a snob.

But better for what god? On that hot deck
I learned to cut out sandals from stiff hides
as trade-ware for next port, and night, laid cheek
on those same hides for head-rest. Of what guides
a soul, a flogged carpenter provoked my poke
and dragged his curse away. Thus I abide.