Death makes her frantic.
With a faded pamphlet at her station on the corner
She pumps her repetitious syllables of doom Into the sooty air.
The drenching rain, the chill Pacific storms
Cannot deflect her unrelenting pathos.
I saw her this December afternoon again.
A black babushka framed her fleshy face;
Her lips were like the underside of worms;
Her coat was soiled, her shoes were cracked and turned.
She wore no ornaments. She had no ring.
The Christmas shoppers, stopping for the light,
Dashing for buses, with their own intents,
Tuned to the blaring phonographs from stores,
Chattering in the wake of starting cars,
Winced their annoyance as they skirted her,
And in the festive, loud cacophony
They buried both her prophecy and verse.
“Repent” they buried, and they buried “Fear,”
The text, the chorus of her litany.
Mutter and mumble, and with downcast eye
Stare at the pavement where the fleeing feet
Trample upon the truth your madness loves,
Champion of God Jehovah.
Already a CT subscriber? Log in for full digital access.
Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 65+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more