The faithful

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
—Hebrews 11:1

Lenny tells me it would be better if we all believed,
Bended knee to the man in the cloud, consulted Bibles
For solutions to dispute.  Give in, he says, and be faithful.
Joyce, one of them that do believe, moves my head
From the night sky, asking me to look beneath my feet.
The questions are up there.  The answers are with us.
Eric, the poet, says all those dying fools in need of cure
Should write poems, learn to live in their own words.
Don’t be a martyr, Stephen J.  You can tell stories.  Do it.
Mornings I pass St Paul’s, knowing so much stone cannot
Hang on air.  The builders who made it want me to go in, submit
To dangers of believing the whole structure will not fall.  —Come in.
On the day my father was buried the priest read Lazarus:
To say that if I stumble it is because I have no light in me
And to ask if I am dead, or only sleep.  —Do you believe?
I know about the dead.  They are all dead and staying
That way.  I ask them to visit, but they are busy in their graves
And in the wind.  —We’ve no time, they say.  It’s all yours, now.  Go.

Originally published in Overland, no. 117, 1990.
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