Psalm 30 interrogation

For Madeleine, too soon departed

by Ken Sehested

Wondrous was the
occasion of your birth,
which I knew not,
and hardly

But mere acquaintances, distant
and casual as we are,
participated in jubilance by
proxy reflected from
the eyes of those whose
longing and labor lifted
your name in splendid recognition,
and reverence, even as
they lifted your flesh
from mucous

Odd, how the tears
of delight, and those
of distraught, bear the
same salty

Life is as of a piece;
but such a short piece?
Against such we rage.
Against such reckless cellular
blunders we scream irreverent rant
and exhaust our hearts
howling divine

Mute the
dust, bitter the ash,
sharp the

What affirmation escapes such
peril? Will the dust praise
you? begs the songstress. Speak
faithfully? Be rescued
from the calloused bonds
of muted

Pit-driven, sackcloth-arrayed, let
the arraignment commence:
What profit is there in death? The
accusation brooks no easy alibi.
The interrogation promises no
recanting of

Only this: promise that
cries will be heard, that
exhausted hearts will resurrect,
that tears will dry and feet again
move to the rhythm
of animated

Only this: confidence that
the dust is not that of
abandonment, but
of adama, of earth, earth
from which all adam receive
breath, and shall again, on
that rapturous occasion when
creation comes

But not soon, never soon
enough. And the terms of such
promise, such confidence,
sight unseen, include perilous
exposure to repeated unraveling
of hope. Risky indeed,
this breathly

Hearts must be steeled
for such raw encounter. Terror
must be displaced. For that, draw
close all lovely flesh and
know the promissory note
of such embrace: When
mourning’s assault submits to
morning’s assent; when
reverence, and recognition, echo
dawn’s wondrous

©Ken Sehested @