To Change the Order

Maybe, if You hadn't waited until the last night.
Maybe, if right from the start
Or at least somewhere in the middle,
You'd sat those men in a circle.

Equally distant from the Center
And regarding each other fully
On level ground,
They wouldn't have argued.

Who was best?
Who was least?
When each in his place round the rim,
Each body of love and dust had work to do.

Lord, I'm telling You,
They needed practice.
To change the order,
Change the form.

Had they started sooner,
Learned to wash each other's feet,
Maybe we wouldn't be in such a mess,
Still trying to prove our supremacy. 

You did what you could
With who showed up,
And so, as we follow,
Must we

Strip ourselves of rank,
Stoop and fill a basin,
Scrub the grit from our companions' necessary soles,
And with our clothing, dry between their toes.

For Jim (met in circle), on his 73rd birthday.

Image: Unknown creator from the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedon Church and gathered from Northeast Wisdom

4 thoughts on “To Change the Order

    • Thanks, Sharon, as always, for your love and willingness to respond. I don’t know if faith is a requirement for continuing a critical dialog with the narratives that helped to shape our lives and our culture. Faith that we might yet change, maybe?

      Love you, too…

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