Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Joseph Reassesses: Genesis 37:12-24

Joseph Reassesses

I met a man in Shechem.
He sent me on to Dothan.
How did he know me?
How did he know my brothers?
Until now, it didn’t even occur to me to ask.

He sent me on to Dothan.
He sent me to disaster.
A trap sprung, a tiger caught,
My beautiful coat ripped away.
The yawning mouth of consequences
To shut my big fat trap.

I should only be silent, but I cry out to you.
Who was that man?
Why did he send me on?
From the well of my soul, from the deep I cry out.
How did he know me?
Why did you send him?

I look back on the map in my mind.
Leaving home, I had come to a chasm called Blindness,
A chasm unbreachable.
When did I cross it? How?
Until now, it didn’t even occur to me to wonder.
Yet somehow you got me across.

So I ask for no dreams.
Dreams are what got me here.
Sharing a dream, innocently enough …
Dreams can only hurt.

And you ask for no words.
Words are what got me here.
Alone with you in the silence,
Words can only do harm.

Yet I give you words, and you give me dreams.
A funny pair we make!
You in your heavens, me in my pit,
Exchanging things neither of us wants.

But at least now I know.
You brought me across one chasm
Only to drop me into another.
I see how you are.
If you want me to shut up, I’ll shut up.
I will speak no more of dreams or of anything else,
If that’s what you want.
But in that case, please—
For my sake and yours—
Send me no more dreams.

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