I would shy away from the hard lesson
That confronts me,
And would instead
Hide among the mechanics.
In the details, there are beautiful signs,
Signs pointing weathered fingers
To the Lesson
I would not look upon.
Thus, only half aware of my myopia,
I pluck out each one,
Carry it up the hill,
And nail it over that which I will not learn,
Mocking God by my own cleverness.
It took Israel forty years to learn the bitter lesson,
And I am barely a man —
Surely there is time enough for me.
Though they were borne safely through the waters,
Egypt weighed hot in their minds,
And daring not to release the burden,
They were forced to march in circles,
In circles, until every last one of them dropped
Into the sweet joy
I pound against today.
Lest ye die,
Ye cannot be born again.