The Backhand Gift: a blessing

What blessing do you seek to earn
from some force named by other men,
who think to teach so all will learn
to reap the future’s might have beens?

What largess do you hope to gain
beseeching shadows for some gift
to ease your path, relieve your pain,
despite your neighbor’s shorter shrift?

What undeserved great benefit
sent from on high should you receive,
in truth, just for the hell of it:
because you say that you believe?

Take thou this blessing, in that case;
that you extort it, give no care.
Move quickly, lest it go to waste
and mix with someone else’s air.

Yea, bless thee, and more, all of thine;
behave as the sole chosen heir
to yours, and here, have some of mine:
look, your wealth is beyond compare!

A blessing on your humble soul,
now buried underneath such stuff;
a life, a house, a chair, a bowl:
how much exactly is enough?

Yea, blessings from that sacred source
your lips name proudly week by week,
like the rich owner of a horse
who loves to hear his own voice speak.

17 NOV 2010

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