PSM V37 D324 Greenland eskimo.
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by John Kendall Hawkins
I. The End of the Beginning
Jesus hated Jews shackled to shekels,
knocking over their tables one Wednesday,
saying, "Think." But they chased him with heckles.
Like Moses before him, there was no way
to get past Baal and the trappings of sin,
and M. almost cracked the decalogue
over his knee and just sat there like Quinn
the Eskimo, no jumps for joy, his slog
forgotten as soon as the pyramids
were in the rearview mirror, the Pharaoh's
soldiers swallowed by the sea. There were bids
between the soldiers for Messiah's clothes;
the sore loser stuck the spear in God's side.
Eskimo Quinn went home; he hitched a ride.
Under a red and rolling sky
as haunted as a rorschach blot
energy finds the middle eye
and gleans the epiphanal polyglot.
Now rose, now lavender and gold,
the clouds combust and burn away
shimmering light bursts through: behold --
the awakening we call day.
O, this gray pulpy mass of brain
like a recalcitrant ghost
rattles the mental window pane
where dull memory stands engrossed.
Yet is shaken from sleep again
as the sun rises like the blesse'd host
pulled from the wine dark sea (amen)
and gives the middle eye a toast
III. Easter 1964
The immaculate white suit fit perfectly
I stood at the threshold smiling
arms stretched wide to the sun
I hunted the painted chocolate eggs
on my knees on grandma's rug
with the lily petals writhing
the aroma from the kitchen
my mother and her mother laughing
and Grandpa crippled from the war
submerged in crosswords, dying
and the priest on television, live
lifting the host up, up, up
up toward the painted ceiling
where two fingers touch
and holding it there
like a dagger in suspense
with high voices singing
and me thirsting, dreaming,
the sun in my eyes,
and the hissing lamb on the kitchen spit
still sizzling in my ears
(Article changed on Apr 01, 2021 at 12:29 AM EDT)