DTS Magazine

Poem: Absence

“They tied me to the stake.
Village children piled brush at my feet.
The priest’s hands didn’t shake.
He struck the match and took his seat
with the other clergy.
The children pinched their noses
as my skin began melting.
Roasting human flesh imposes
a stench that makes you gag while you burn.
I stood for truth. I spoke to angels.
I gave the poor every penny I earned,
prayed mountains to move and crumble
and learned as much as I could.
I poured out encouragement.
But nothing ends like it should,
so flames were my payment.

“I was surprised to find
I now lived on the outskirts of heaven— I, the one who led the blind,
my garments handwoven
from camel’s hair and righteousness.
He didn’t care that I slaved for Him.
I enjoy His presence,
but from afar, where the light dims,
and I wonder at my company—
those who never did enough.
Why be grouped with such as these?
Because I had not love.”

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