On Some Hand-Me-Downs from G-d
Well, mortality’s one of the cloaks you tossed in the bin,
as well as sin, I suppose, and all this endless yearning
for some divine inspiration. You also tossed forgiveness
into the Goodwill box, so casually I’d have thought it was
a pair of dirty socks. But there’s another inheritance I
guess I ought to thank you for--faith--though it’s worn
so thin and ragged it’s nearly diaphanous, like a nylon
banner hung out for eons from the roof of the world.
You kept all the best stuff for yourself: universal health
insurance, archangels, Capuchin monks and Capuchine
nuns, eternal life, 4-D sunglasses, that pristine garden
with its sagacious fruit and peaceable kingdom. In short,
you live in splendor, at least metaphorically, and we
human mortals go from thrift store to consignment shop
hoping we’ll find some treasure you forgot to hoard.
Maurya Simon is the author of ten volumes of poetry, including The Wilderness: New and Selected Poems (Red Hen Press, 2018). A professor emerita at the University of California, Riverside, she lives in the Angeles National Forest in southern California.