Death of a Man

No eternal trumpet cleft the air,

no planet stopped its sullen course

to gaze in wrath and vengeance; only this—

a man of goodness died.

Conscience was his guide and God

who saw his golden spring coiled taut

to justice, saw intention and desire

flower for a while in action and the promise

of an action, saw his failure

as the necessary flaw of man.

He makes the sun come up on good

and evil, sends the rain and snow;

hardly strange then He allows for apples,

stables, bullets: everything is perfect

in its time. And time is His.

One does not lightly strike down God’s anointed.

For him a shot perfected spring

and hope of spring, fulfilled desire,

cleared his eyes to vision: light forever.

But for the world, darkness.

God sees, allows, and loves

in ways we do not ripely understand.

Let mankind hobble home now on its knees.