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Job Corrected

"Hear me!” Job cried,
bewildered by misfortune and uncanny ills,
burdened by disappointment and nights without rest,
distracted by rotting flesh and unhealing wounds,
alone before his God.

“Hear my entreaty, oh Lord.
Let me spit out my soul at your feet,
like a half chewed apple,
seeds and all.
Let me speak my mind
before you snuff it out without respite.”

And the Great Silence beckoned to him
as if listening.

“What have I done to you
that you make my nightmares come to life
while you fill my days with death?

“I was once a man sought
for wisdom, for friendship, for joy,
like a virgin bride set in white
without stain before the world.

“But you have made a mockery of this humble sanctity
once called a satisfied life.
Although I followed the good path,
believing, as I did, in righteous labor
and in the innocence of reason,
You punish me.

“What have I done to deserve this?

“You let the wicked prosper. You let the faithful starve.
You let children die in streets, prostituted by desease and apathy.
You shepherd a world that can only be saved through Sacrifice
and only redeemed by Death. What sort of justice is this?

“Why do You make pain the key to heaven
and leave the earth locked to those who need?

“Where is the gravity of love
in Your ‘blessed’ creation?
Do You, outside the rotation of life and death,
not feel this holy pull? This mortal guilt? This single need?

“Can’t You see? Don’t You have eyes like mine?
Is this why You wish us all to vainly grope
in a world that wants only to be understood?

“Show Your face! Help me understand!
Your silence has torn out my tongue
and left me without a taste for life.”

His bitterness spent,
Jacob fell to his knees.
For the first time in his once proud existence
Job's head bowed with shame
before his forefathers’ faith,
exhausted by the weight of his unsupported dignity.

He listened, ready for correction.
Ready for any argument that might dispute
this human desire
for sense.

The Blinding Response came, in hellfire and brimstone,
or so the legend states, but,
in the end, the sound and fury failed to answer
what had been asked.

Job remained half a Man, for the true potential of any man
is nurtured only in the reflection of seeing eyes.
And Job's questions remain half a Truth,
for he sought his answers amidst an infitinte darkness.

Yet, the world, as bright as ever,
could not shake this echoed cry.
A new voice, godlike in it's persistence,
whispers in the bones of his children's children.

Job Corrected © 1999 by Tobin James Mueller
"Ash" published by ArtsForge Press.
All rights reserved.