My Son Slept In Red Cloud
Poem By S. R. Lavin
Tim spent the day weeding in his father’s flower garden
(most days he washes dishes at the local college) .
My son, Matthew, driving west to Utah,
spent the night in Red Cloud, home to Willa Cather,
a famous writer, whose books recall the rugged life
of those who settled the frontier. Bob moved in with his brother,
afraid to say what horrible sin he’d done long ago.
Kezban says the life of a tree is more precious
than a human being. Perhaps she thinks that
because of the abuse she’s endured
at the hands of those who should have loved her.
The old man who lives across the street, bedridden for years,
is cared for by his wife, who never leaves his side.
Yesterday, the ambulance came to the old man’s house.
There was no siren.
I wish the gentle rain could wash us all clean
and make us whole again, but that is not how salvation works.
It requires a great sacrifice of overwhelming value,
to be offered without reservation, and without a selfish motive.
If we could see that as clearly as all the wrongs
heaped up against each other,
we might really change the course of human history.
But as it is, people are destroyed and lives are ruined.
No one has a way out.
Unless, you see God. Then you will know what to do.