Give me a sign, I pray, and then I seeFor Sale (Price Reduced) and smileat the Almighty's roguish sense of humor,thinking how he must adore us skeptics,stretching out his carpenter's handsto let St. Thomas probe the nail holes,stick his finger deep in the bleeding gash,feel the spiky bones and fly throughthat little space to faith. Two thousand yearsbereft of Jesus' body, I need a sign,although I wonder, could any sign nail down for goodhow a God-man walked this curving earth?And anyway, concerning signs, how childlikemy belief in narrative, as if the question'salways first, and then the answer leapsin perfect sequence. Sequence, which is nothingbut time's lackey! So I give up narrative,however lovely to look around—but I worry.Where? Suppose the sign arrived last week,for instance, that spider threading sunlight by our garage,that writhing knot of fire? Or last springin Carol's row of jewel-like tulips. Supposeit was that rag of human song blown byas we wandered Bleeker Street with Charlie,just back from war. Or the muffled crackingas my body breaks beneath the press of time.Not this, not that—I admit,I'm down to rummaging the worldfor nail holes. Maybe to list what's missingis to begin to understand what's here.
Jeanne Murray Walker teaches at the University of Delaware. Her most recent book is Helping the Morning: New and Selected Poems.
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