Psalm of Lament in Three Parts

1. After working a long shift, Mom came home

To fix supper. Bring me another beer,

Dad said. So I did while Mom cooked.

She filled our plates as I got my own glass of milk.

Mom brought dinner hot from the stove

And set Dad’s down on the coffee table in front of the tv

So we could watch Wheel of Fortune together.

He looked down at the plate of food she’d fixed,

Then flung it across the room in disgust.

He never liked vegetables to touch meat.

I threw my glass of milk in his face

Which shocked us all in different ways.

Father, forgive.

2. When they used to call me Saul, or something like that,

I knew truth in my own familiar way.

Going off to camp wasn’t what it is here.

Not at all. And yet, oddly similar…

Weapons, devotions, survival skills, prayers.

And as I went deeper into this way of truth

I found a certain pride in what most others feared.

Looking back, it surprises me still

How simple and right it seemed

To take a life; and then, lives.

The cracks and gurgles and groans of death,

Though, gave way to a sort of silence.

And then, the Dream came. Father, forgive.

3. You know, the guard said to me,

If they set you free, who will be left

To tell me the things you do.

I know no other soul whose eyes have what your eyes hold.

Once I even heard you sing

And even though I could not comprehend

the words or tune, I wanted to.

If they release you, I’m afraid

That I’ll be bound to life without you

Or the God you love,

The One who brought you here to me.

Me—whose job it is to keep an eye on everything you do.

Even though I don’t believe,

When you talk to that God of yours,

I think that you and he are talking about me.

And tonight, I'll lock you up, put the keys away,

And as I walk away, hear you say, like you always do,

Father, forgive.

by Wil Triggs