They were stripped bare as the Holocaust,
beaten with rods blow upon blow,
thrown bloody-backed and bruised
into the iron gut of government injustice.
Sucking in air that stank of urine,
feces, and fear of death,
in the bowels of the prison
their feet were bound, but here they sang
like two children running across a grassy field.
for they expected no more
of our broken earth
than it can offer to any of us;
they made no appeals to the powers of men
but stretched their sore, torn necks
against those filthy walls
and reminded one another of the God
who burns light in dark, stale places.
They sang and they prayed,
looking straight up Hope's beam of light,
through all those tomb stones,
square into God's wide, lush heaven
and found that a prison built
by the measly hands of men
shivered and broke loose at its joints.
Faith is a sonic boom.
Then like two fishermen with a thin line
thrown on a red-and-white bobber,
knowing that their liberty was already sealed
as was their bond.
letting the holy current toy with their bait
while they held fast, held firm,
held still as their Christ did.
He could have roared off His cross
yet remained alert, primed, ears perked
and hardly breathing
so that He could listen to His Father
like a cowboy with his ear to a train track,
then conform, comply,
complete the whole task of trust
until it was finished.