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.