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After Job 13:15
“Though He slay me, still will I trust Him,”
seems a rhetorical boast, easily made,
for who can comprehend this claim’s worth
when even at funerals, death remains abstract?
Yes, a tangible corpse lies stiff, dressed, and prone
in a woodcrafter’s pride, next hoisted
by dove-feigning fingers in soft cotton gloves
onto broad shoulders, who then carry this cross
out to the hearse, to the church, to the earth,
where, seed-like, it is planted,
expecting a glorious Spring-rise,
but these are effects, not the passing itself.
Does the soul feel anything during this procession?
Who can say? Our sensations are those of the living.
The centurion’s slave, when reanimated by Christ,
neglected to mention his terrors and joys
when his eyes, like candles, were snuffed out by last breath,
and nothing compelled his Savior to retell
His time down in Hell, let alone in High Heaven,
outside of weeping and gnashing, splendor and grace.
Even nihilists imagine an eternity devoid
of all sense, so small is their understanding of death.
Separation is the dagger that pierces in the dark,
that thorn in the flesh coaxing out this sharp wail
“Though He take my first love, still will I trust Him,”
fathoming the depths of devotion.
Image: Job Rebuked by His Friends, William Blake, public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.