July 23, 2014

The Silence of Job

by Anna Kamienska

Job
you whose mouth was
eloquent as ripples of rain
when you were arguing with God
about your morsel of life
why were you silent
when you got back everything
life health riches
almost a second happiness
Why don't you protest now
You became as meek as the sea-grass
silent as a stone on sand
You seem to scowl when you look
mutter when you talk

You had a mouth full of arguments
like a harlot hurling insults
when you clamored for your due
Your loud No resounded to the heavens
your Yes is like the peep of a night bird
Explain why misery injury and suffering
are fluent as teachers
while an everyday calm
searches for words
stammering like a schoolboy
Perhaps you wrapped yourself in silence
as a cloak against the world
against the storm of events of friendships of loves
from which only troubles come
Perhaps you pretend to be humble out of conceit
perhaps you think
        I have borne the inhuman
        I am chosen in happiness and in pain
Be careful Job
which of these silences
is your silence
Perhaps it troubles God
more than your protests
Do you think you've eluded human fate
because once you wriggled out
You again have a lot
a lot to lose
You're as safe as everyone else
as a fly trapped in a fist

Tell us
you who escaped death
glanced into its abyss
almost turned into earth
who choked on God
tell us
does something exist there
does your calm mean despair or hope
is your eye clouded by awareness of truth
or of uncertainty
half-closed by irony or arrogance
What are you whispering
Are those merely senile words
out of which meaning has drained
You call dull senile sleep silence
you who got to know the silence of ocean depths
during a time of storm

But Job said nothing
he only whispered Lord Lord

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