Lament 2

by Paul Hooker

February 2015


These lives of quiet anguish take their toll,

peer mirrored back beneath a furrowed brow

through eyes that wear the sorrow of the soul,

a tattered shawl. Our prayers are empty now.

How long, O Lord, how long?


We are but shadows on a shadowed wall,

indistinct, our lives play out in gray—

a gesture here, and there a muffled call—

and at the end have nothing more to say?

How long, O Lord, how long?


Around us burn the fires of other sins

bequeathed of other prides or hates or lusts.

Yet does not our quiescence held within

at last divide Dives from Lazarus?

How long, O Lord, how long?


Save us from our self-posed isolation,

save us who are in impotence imprisoned,

save us from our complicit resignation

to blinkered eyes that masquerade as vision.

How long, O Lord, how long?


Come your justice, Lord, poured out in deluge

and wash the dust of indolence away;

come your voice that shatters easy refuge

and speak the promised dawning into day.


Come your kingdom, Lord; we wait uncertain

whether we can bear indifference lost;

come your glory, Lord, and rend the curtain

we draw to block the sunlight of the cross.

How long, O Lord? Not long!