Upward Mobility (a poem)

Earth ‘s crammed with heaven… 

But only he who sees, takes off his shoes.  – Elizabeth Barrett Browning

More than once, in fact
dozens of times in the Big Story of the Torah,
responding to God meant
falling face down on the ground.
Blinding light,
being pregnant with plain old
awe.
Take off your shoes kind of wonderment.
Because you’re on holy ground.

I am so unseeing.
Everything in me,
in my dusty, meager day to day corporeal living
roars something else.
At me. In me.  From me.  To me.
Lift yourself
up. Rise higher, get
above the next fellow.
Upward mobility. Show
your stuff. Your smarts. Your
talent and creativity.
The world is shouting in my ear.

Then I close the door, and
find within, in
my paltry worship, my measly human love.
All I have is a quickening heartbeat, throwing off
the chasing anxiety.
All I want is a falling face down on the ground, kind of awe.
When was the last time I felt
astonishment in God?
A breathed in, have to close my eyes
star struck, stomach lurching,
take off my shoes, because I’m on holy ground

kind of amazement of my God?

All I want.

When was the last time?

 

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