Faith, or Something Like It

I keep coming back to it —
this word "faith" —
like someone trying to finish
the crossword in the Times.

If I throw down the pencil
and walk away, I know
that will end it for good.
So I doodle in the margins,
reluctant to stop,
helpless to go on.

We've worn our faith like a baseball cap,
sifted it like salt upon our hearts of ice,
sandbagged it along our swollen rivers of fear,
talked it comatose.

I declare a moratorium on the word "faith."
Do not use it to seal the deal. Don't
call it "money" by another name.
Please, do not count your miracles by it.
Foolishness cannot be reversed by it:
it is not a vaccine.
It cannot be bought, but it will
cost you everything.

Let us speak of hope,
endurance 'til the end,
joy in all times.
Feet walking, ears open, eyes to see.

And in another place to hear,
"Well done, good and faithful servant."

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