Midrash on the Lord’s Prayer

December 2, 2020 | 2 minute read
D.S. Martin

The Alliance Connection magazine lays open on a table to the page where a poem is illustrated to look like the page of a Bible.

I 

Our Father   simultaneously far & near
     my insufficient fear   could never drive me
          to dive   deep as Titanic
     on the wide Atlantic’s floor  
          for there’s nowhere to hide
or if I tried an astro-Jonah  
     scooting to some far star  
          that’s where you’d be
especially for me   since you’ve made
     a walking temple   of this aging cage of bones
          that could never contain you
& though   your notorious silence
     shakes the last leaf from my tree
          I can’t push you from my consciousness  
     stress   only what I see
for this shrivelling balloon of a world
     would be so hollow in your absence
          & my only escape   from blame
                would seep away
Hallowed be your name 

II 

We pray for what is   & what will be   your divinity
     spreading kingdom seed   into its valuable dying
so that what is   grows   & so reality 
     subtracts our macronegativity   from our microgood   & so
our mess doesn’t mess with your sovereignty 
     as if it ever could
 

III 

Give us this day   bread
     with strawberry jam  
          even if made by our own hands 

for though I worked for coins
         to buy flour

& I worked the dough   before
    it went into the pan  

& I helped hull berries for
    the slow rolling hosanna

without sun & rainshower  
    there’d be no grain
         or berries ripening in rows   

We shall not live   by bread alone  
    but by every sweet jewel
         of Christ

IV 

know   my mind forges manacles   & the keys 
     my heart jingles   are slow 
to click   in those rusty locks   so the miry sorrow 
     of those who’ve wronged me
will be a swamp they must wallow in  

May we release ourselves   
     as you have already released us
for it’s not until the last chain falls away   that we go free 

V 

Lead us not into sensation   but deliver us from
     revealing   what we think proves us right   
Uncover our hiding   Rip sunglasses 
     from our faces   our defence 
          against sunlight   on into the night
Spit on our eyes   or pluck them right out 
     to be made new   without offense
          Amen 

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D.S. Martin

D.S. Martin is Poet-in-Residence at McMaster Divinity College, the Series Editor for the Poiema Poetry Series, the editor behind three poetry anthologies, and author of four poetry collections—the most recent of which is Ampersand (2018, Cascade). He and his wife Gloria have two sons, one of whom is an Alliance pastor.

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Comments

  1. Enjoyed your poems very much. Different styles of writing, but very encouraging. May the Lord Jesus richly bless and encourage you in your life for Him. John M S Neufeld

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