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A Poem a Day to Millennium 14 September 1999
 

PLACING JUSTICE HIGH



 

("Place justice up high in the gate, and perhaps the Lord, the God of hosts, will be gracious...") - Amos 5:15b

We live on fine streets
in manicured neighborhoods,
latest vinyl siding wrapping our supermodel
homes. Our quiettime is done in a wooden rocker
in front of a bay window.

We back the best white bread,
we're wellbread,
and invite the pretty neighbor children to play
on our golf course twice-cut green.

We go to nice church, first church, and sit smartly,
raise our hands properly, sing lustily, clap timely,
and praise jesus for an hour.

across the highway...

They live on mudstreets
in trailer court rows
painted metal roofs receive the hail.
Their prayers are cries of hope and despair
kneeling at a ragged bed.

They open commodity corn to boil the soup,
they make do,
and children play in mud puddles with
yesterday's toys and cardboard boats.

Some go to church and walk awkwardly,
and sit shyly, and wait expectantly, and hear heartily,
and want jesus to change their life.
And we go home without loving them.
 

- Mark Phillips

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