The Common Good
February 2008


by Kathleen Hirsch | February 2008

I cannot tell you why

I taste death;

the cupboards

are reasonably


the ...

I cannot tell you why
I taste death;
the cupboards

are reasonably
the windows clean as rain.

Armies of women and their children
drift across borders in despair,
flies at the corners of their deep, round eyes.

I have tried, in my way,
with remnants of virtue,
to unearth God from the salvages.

Leave the wine and the oil untouched,
says the prophet.
Drought, famine, war

will mark the martyrs
from the thieves.
It is a subtle thing

for theologians to discern
who bears the holy,
who is winnowed
by death from death.

Kathleen Hirsch, author of A Sabbath Life: One Woman’s Search for Wholeness, teaches at Boston College.

Sojourners relies on the support of readers like you to sustain our message and ministry.

Related Stories

Like what you're reading? Get Sojourners E-Mail updates!

Sojourners Comment Community Covenant

I will express myself with civility, courtesy, and respect for every member of the Sojourners online community, especially toward those with whom I disagree, even if I feel disrespected by them. (Romans 12:17-21)

I will express my disagreements with other community members' ideas without insulting, mocking, or slandering them personally. (Matthew 5:22)

I will not exaggerate others' beliefs nor make unfounded prejudicial assumptions based on labels, categories, or stereotypes. I will always extend the benefit of the doubt. (Ephesians 4:29)

I will hold others accountable by clicking "report" on comments that violate these principles, based not on what ideas are expressed but on how they're expressed. (2 Thessalonians 3:13-15)

I understand that comments reported as abusive are reviewed by Sojourners staff and are subject to removal. Repeat offenders will be blocked from making further comments. (Proverbs 18:7)