Monday, November 15, 2010

Madeleine L'Engle - Love Letter

Love Letter.
I hate you, God.
Love, Madeleine.

                            I write my message on water
                            and at bedtime I tiptoe upstairs
                            and let it flow under your door.

When I am angry with you
I know that you are there
even if you do not answer my knock
even when your butler opens the door an inch
and flaps his thousand wings in annoyance
at such untoward interruption
and says that the master is not at home.

                            I love you, Madeleine.
                            Hate, God.

(This is how I treat my friends, he said to one great saint.
No wonder you have so few of them, Lord, she replied.)

                            I cannot turn the other cheek
                            It takes all the strength I have
                            To keep my fist from hitting back
                            the soldiers shot the baby
                            the little boys trample the old woman
                            the gutters are filled with groans
                            while pleasure seekers knock each other down
                            in order to get their tickets stamped first.

I'm turning in my ticket
and my letter of introduction.
You're supposed to do the knocking. Why do you burst my heart?

                            How can I write you
                            to tell you that I'm angry
                            when I've been given the wrong address
                            and I don't even know your real name?

I take hammer and nails
and tack my message on two crossed pieces of wood:

                            Dear God
                            is it too much to ask you
                            to bother to be?
                            Just show your hindquarters
                            and let me hear you roar.

(poem by Madeleine L'Engle)


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