Shrapnel

Shrapnel

Bruce Dawe

Wherever you look there's Bethlehem and Golgotha;
Crowds deafen many Jerusalems with their cries;
Mary the Mother of God and Mary of Magdala
Are passing along the street before our eyes.

In upper rooms the latest disciples are meeting,
Breaking together both leavened and unleavened bread;
The prodigal son, the rich man (Dives) and Lazarus
Pose questions of mercy and justice for us, instead.

Barabbas is getting the nod, big-talking Peters
Are eating their words on this evening's bulletin;
Samaritans daily surprise us, driven by compassion,
Attend the wounded, pay for them at the inn.

Judas is alive and well and doing business
On many a committee still in many a land,
While Doubting Thomases everywhere must verify
The wound in the side by thrusting in a hand.

* * *

The shrapnel of the Christian gospels is now embedded
In the very flesh of metaphor, there to stay,
Where all o' the surgeons of scepticism can't remove it,
Though they ply assiduous scalpels night and day.

Bruce Dawe

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