Poetry, VOLUME 2

Poem: “Half-life of Faith” by John Hay, Jr. [Vol. 2, #44]

“Half-life of Faith”
John Hay, Jr.


A confession and a prayer for my children

I have so far been able to protect my children
from undue fear and outright violence,
from malnourishment and unjust treatment.
I have not, thus far, competently guarded them
from unbridled consumerism and outright greed,
from justification of all things material.

I have taught them the Lord’s Prayer–
duly recited at each table gathering,
but I have not fully shared with them
our indebtedness to a world we have exploited.

I have cautioned them on drugs and addictions,
and lived an ever-sober life before them,
but I have indulged my appetite for trinkets,
and fed their dependency on branded gadgets.

I have instructed the Commandments to the letter,
and called for living the values they commend,
but I wonder how many gods-not-called-gods
and masquerading idols we return to each Monday?

I have commended my zealous evangelical brethren
for calling out obvious social moral dilemmas,
but we together have swallowed camels,
and overlooked deadly sins that consume us all.

I want my children yet to learn from me
the difference between stewarding and possessing,
that what we possess tends to possess us,
that hearts follows treasures every time.

I want to teach my children, long before I pass,
that there remains an authentically traveled way,
beyond and nearer than I have so far made known;
it ever awaits the heart that hungers for God alone.

—–

John Hay, Jr. is a cyclist and poet
based here in Indianapolis.
He blogs at http://www.indybikehiker.com
Reprinted here with the author’s permission.

C. Christopher Smith is the founding editor of The Englewood Review of Books. He is also author of a number of books, including most recently How the Body of Christ Talks: Recovering the Practice of Conversation in the Church (Brazos Press, 2019). Connect with him online at: C-Christopher-Smith.com

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2 Comments

  1. Kevin Book-Satterlee

    Glad to see Hay’s poems on here. I follow them on occasion on his blog. Great things going on in Indy.