Habakkuk’s Lament: Seattle

by Kaitlyn Newbery

Fingers, reach; arms, reach; body, reaches; soul.
Shoeless, clothesless, foodless, less.
Needing, pleading, she grabs
my hand,
asking for the smallest bit of anything. 
Scavenging slave, slumming orphan
deserted, discarded, bastard of humanity.
Thrown out and throw away, she
begs. Beckons.
Aches. Asks.
Thirsts.

I skirt past,
no handouts.
No contribution.
No acknowledgement. 
Where is this “God”?

Fingers, shake; arms, shake; body, shakes; soul.
Shoeless, coatless, homeless, less.
Mumbling, fumbling, he mutters 
drunken words,
crying for help the only way he understands. 
Reeking wreck, wretched man
forgotten, forbidden, reject of the masses.
Outcast and cast out, he 
sits. Shakes.
Waits. Wants. 
Hungers.   

I continue walking, 
no eye contact.
No pauses.
No acknowledgement.
Where is this “God”?

Fingers, cling; arms, cling; body, clings; soul.
Sleepless, worthless, shameless, less.
Growling, scowling, she stares as I turn
my face,
thinking neither of us wants my pity.
Beckoning beacon, brazen whore
scorned, shunned, disgrace of society
Overused and used up, she
glares. Grimaces.
Breaks. Bears. 
Needs.

I walk away,
no conversation.
No offer of hope.
No acknowledgement.
Where is this “God”? 

Where is this “God”?
I skirt past;
I continue walking;
I walk away. 

Kaitlyn Newbery is an adjunct English professor at University of the Cumberlands. She enjoys exploring questions about her faith through metaphors and storytelling. 

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