This poem when my friend Arlene Erickson, hearing about what ministers have been taught in most seminaries since the 1950s, demanded, “Why haven’t we ordinary people been told any of this stuff?” Something about the content led me to put it together in lines vaguely resembling the discipline of iambic pentameter.
“Behold,” he said, “thy path unto salvation.”
“What path?” I asked, “for all that I can see
are thickets of incomprehension; thorns
that reach to snare unwary travellers,
quicksand salivating for a sucker,
roots that rise to trip my thoughts; and tigers
burning bright, crouched to leap with tooth
and claw upon my slightest flaw.