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Category archive for: Shane McCrae

On the First Day of the Last Week of His Life Jesus Overturns the Tables of the Money-Changers

I wrote to a friend yesterday and told him my new poems were

About or I was trying to say

Something about money to God

I think and I don’t understand it why I think it Lord You don’t

Understand money

but of course You do / And maybe even

Lord if You were You You on Earth used money maybe You

Didn’t just overturn the tables of the money-changers

Maybe You sometimes ached to not

Lord have enough for even a few figs / Maybe You hated figs and always had or always the

Conditioned always of a life here

hated figs / And maybe figs were usually

The cheapest food available and still You sometimes didn’t have enough

Maybe You suffered in Your body first the suffering of in Your body Lord

Inhabiting Your poverty

Maybe Your body Lord was shaped by foods You hated

Maybe You sometimes walking to the market / Felt everybody even only

for a moment / Glancing at You

knew Lord You lived on figs

Lord and You hated figs and always had

And on the day You overturned the tables of the money-changers

You also cursed a fig tree never to produce / Fruit again

because You had come to it hungry Lord

and found it barren

from The Animal Too Big To KillFind it in the library

Copyright © Persea Books 2016
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of Persea Books.

Mary Massages His Feet with Perfume Worth What a Worker Makes in a Year

I would have Lord as Judas did wondered and maybe if

I had been brave as Judas was

I might have said / Something about it why the

Perfume Mary massaged Your feet with wasn’t / Instead

sold and the money given to the poor

A few years back I worked Lord in a factory making

parts for truck / Engines I think I wasn’t sure then and I’m not sure now

I didn’t mind the work except the standing hurt my feet

It got so bad eventually I had to quit

I was a temp anyway and I didn’t care what the boss thought / I didn’t

know who the boss was but

I didn’t want to disappoint the agency

still / Eventually it got so bad I had to quit

But at the last station I worked for the first time I got to sit

Nobody told me Lord I could

Nobody told me Lord I couldn’t I just grabbed a stool and sat

Like anything I made there Lord I couldn’t tell You now what

The name of the thing I made there was

But sparks flew from the machine and burned my forearms

past my gloves / And Lord I didn’t mind the sparks I got to sit

I got to sit Lord at that station for I think

a good ten minutes / Before a worker I had never met

Threw her gloves down and walked from her

Station across the floor / To tell me not to sit on my ass anymore

And then she walked off somewhere disappeared in the pallet stacks

I hadn’t said anything back / Or honestly I might have said Okay

Not drawn out quick and scared

She was the only woman I ever saw

close to my age on the floor

After she disappeared / A man who worked at her station at

her table slithered over asked me / What she had said

and said she was a bitch and told me not to worry

But after that I didn’t sit

That was the day I quit / I tell You now I know it Lord it love is truly is

Stronger than hate

Only for those who can afford it

from The Animal Too Big To KillFind it in the library

Copyright © Persea Books 2016
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of Persea Books.

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this (publication, website, exhibit, etc.) do not necessarily represent those of the Idaho Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.