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.

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. 

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. 

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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