Desert Song

by Jeffrey Essmann


The world has known more threadbare days than these,

I’m sure, with history’s edges rubbed so raw

that time and truth were chafed and ill at ease,

and humans failed both spirit and the law.

So while we find our troubled times unique,

we’re never really out of Egypt, out

of Babylon, still crying out and weak

in Sinai’s desert, plagued with doubt.

And God won’t turn the TV off or stop

the news or make the bad man go away.

He’ll help us, though, our desert madness drop

and guide us back to grace’s simple sway.

He’ll bring us back to mornings free of fear,

when birds alone can bring a soul to tears.

Jeffrey Essmann's prose work (essays; creative nonfiction) has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and numerous magazines and literary journals; his poetry, in America Magazine, Dappled Things, the Road Not Taken and on the website of the Society of Classical Poets. He lives in New York.


October 2018

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