I had a dinner with a woman mad
for God. I told her I have learned to walk
without a crutch. She told me I was made
to look like him but I have always thought
he has my nose. So am I God’s worst blunder
or is he mine? She told me I should raise
my children in my image. That’s bad taste,
it seems to me. She talked about surrender
and resignation, prudence, diligence,
but I preferred her company, her style
to his, the sweetness in her clear eyes. Still,
I might believe in God if he could dance,
a God who’s learned to laugh, a God like this
young woman I press into for a kiss.
From “The Golem of Los Angeles” (Red Hen Press, 2008).
Tony Barnstone is the Albert Upton Professor of English at Whittier College, author of 13 books and writer/producer of a CD of original music based on his book of World War II poems, “Tongue of War.”