Advent poems 16: the prophet, by Lucille Clifton


the prophet


came to me
with a poor man’s tale
of his one ewe lamb
sworn to him by seven
pieces of gold

and a tale of the greed
of a rich man
hungry for not his own
who stile that lamb

and i in my arrogance
did swear by the fate
of my house and kingdom

oh the crack in my heart
when the prophet tolled

thou art the man


Lucille Clifton, from The Terrible Stories, Slow Dancer Press, 1998.

With thanks to John Harvey.

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