Learning to give in the spirit of one who begs
means first you have to learn how to beg.
I think of my drunk friend telling
a homeless guy in DC: get a J-O-B.
A few years later, drunk again, hits a tree.
He told me once that his father would
come home drunk, come into his room
with a gun, threaten to blow his brains out.
He never said if he’d pretend to be asleep, cry
plead, pray, or how he’d rise the next day,
go to school, return to that room, lie down & wait.
He never said if he knew why any man would
want to see his own son begging for his life.
The stories about miracles confuse everything.
(This poem originally appeared in jubilat and is part of a crown of sonnets beginning and ending with lines from Simone Weil’s notebooks.)
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