Lazarus

The full force of Love
shouts your name out of
the bowels of loss and
calls you forth. The
blast of it blows through
your bones and they
vibrate with anthems of life.
In you, God found a place to
let down, an embrace, some
food, an ear deep as a canyon.
You are the friend
he could not live without
so that when you died of
not being sure of that,
he wept until your name
rolled out of him like
thunder: Come out!
I need you! Stirred
in your bindings
rising slow and dizzy
from your slab,
you stumble, almost
floating while they
unwrap you.
Oh! The light! It
has been rinsed
and you can feel
beams of it on
your skin as millions
of soft, tiny kisses.
There is nothing of you
left but the bald, sensitive
kernel. It takes death
to burn away the chaff and
being wanted more than anything
what it takes to raise you.

Susan Deborah King was an ordained Presbyterian minister, English teacher, and a member of the Wood Thrush Poets, a women's writing group in Weston, Connecticut, when this poem appeared.

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Sojourners Magazine April 1992
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