Contents | May 2002

In This Issue (Contributors)

More on poetry from The Atlantic Monthly.

Also by Mary Karr:
Beauty and the Shoe Sluts (1998)
The Atlantic Monthly | May 2002
Who The Meek Are Not

by Mary Karr
          Not the bristle-bearded Igors bent
under burlap sacks, not peasants knee-deep
          in the rice-paddy muck,
nor the serfs whose quarter-moon sickles
          make the wheat fall in waves
they don't get to eat. My friend the Franciscan
          nun says we misread
that word meek in the Bible verse that blesses them.
          To understand the meek
(she says) picture a great stallion at full gallop
          in a meadow, who—
at his master's voice—seizes up to a stunned
          but instant halt.
So with the strain of holding that great power
          in check, the muscles
along the arched neck keep eddying,
          and only the velvet ears
prick forward, awaiting the next order.

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Copyright © 2002 by The Atlantic Monthly Group. All rights reserved.
The Atlantic Monthly; May 2002; Who The Meek Are Not; Volume 289, No. 5; 64.