Theodicy (for Connecticut) by Jonathon Penny

Toppled_Stone_in_St.John's_Graveyard by Calum McRoberts

I’d rather it had been a whimper than a bang €”
The way the year went out €”
In dim-lit winter, while the choirs sang;
I’d trade those screams for joyful Christmas shouts.

I’d mar those deaths with lowdown, high-rise, hallowed Birth,
Were I the wondrous Way,
Cast out the grieving from the hall of mirth;
I’d give that love-lit night for darkened day.

I’d spare no cherub angel, nor her flaming sword
To guard that Eden’s gate €”
Would perish one, were I the two-edged Word;
I’d pinch and pluck the sickly cells of hate.

But I am not I AM. And we’ve been here before:
Clean blood has darkened soil
For all of earth’s trite time, and grief and gore
Alike are her familiars, are Salvation’s foil.

As it always does, a haggard, flagging wisdom
Occasions comfort rare:
Our view is short, His long; He takes them home;
All that would be undone were He to interfere,

And He will not; but He’s not silent €”Heaven weeps
For sinners and for saints
Alike; for all, alike, were heavenly once, and His,
Bought for pearly price, deposited for taints,

And mantle-made. Perhaps such comfort’s cold right now.
But then, it’s winter there.
The leaves lie bitter brown. A shroud of snow
Might clothe the vacant, precious dead, and clear the screaming air.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________

For Jonathon’s bio and more poetry, go here.

Photo by Calum McRoberts   by way of Wikimedia Commons Images.

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