STUNNED BACK TO BELIEF WHILE THE MEZZO SANG “HE SHALL FEED HIS FLOCK”

I wrote this back in 2003, (I think) after practicing “Messiah.”  The mezzo was Wendy Hoffman-Farrell, and this poem is dedicated to her.

. . . I always used to believe he would,
but lately, with life wandering out of control–
beasts, sharp edges everywhere–
I have not been so sure.

Concentrating on my part–
the crazy alto timing in “He shall purify,”
the slippery bits in “Unto us”–
I was forgetting to listen.

But then her voice.
Not like light–
not clear, star-studded, disturbing,
the dangerous sky of a wild and wakeful night–

but close and warm and dark,
the safe dark when everything that can harm is asleep,
the comforting dark when you have been gathered up
and peek out at the puzzling world
from the folds of his robes,
the happiness of his encircling arms.

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