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
supper
who stile that lamb

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

oh the crack in my heart
when the prophet tolled

david
thou art the man

 

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

With thanks to John Harvey.

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