Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE MERCY OF LAZARUS, by STEPHEN DOBYNS



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THE MERCY OF LAZARUS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Groggy, sure, and in the midst of bad dreams
Last Line: His miracle without your deceit-- your laugh and eager shout, the out-stretched arms?
Subject(s): Lazarus


Groggy, sure, and in the midst of bad dreams,
it must have been a dispirited awakening --
expecting everything settled, the long night
without interruption suddenly interrupted,

like a four a.m. alarm bell but worse, the rock
rolled back, to be called forth, told to pick up
the yoke, to pay your bills, get the roof fixed,
become a bit of proof in the Lord's affidavit,

just when you thought your history complete,
your problems solved -- bad wages, long hours.
Now the crowd pushes forward, demanding
to hear your cries of thanks. If you refused,

crawled back into your tomb, well, their hope,
recently upraised, would need a tomb of its own.
Where would be His miracle without your deceit --
your laugh and eager shout, the out-stretched arms?


Copyright 2001 by The Modern Poetry Association.
This poem appears in the April 2001 issue of Poetry Magazine.
http://poetrymagazine.org





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