0214 Me And Lazarus - Poem by Michael Shepherd
'Since your breakdown, Michael,
you've changed out of all recognition...'
Was I supposed to feel flattered,
since this was evidently meant as a compliment -
leaving a vapour trail of implications
about past behaviour across the clear sky of my mind?
No, I did not feel flattered;
though agreeably unconcerned
about the degree of un-observation in an old friend;
how could he not see
that I was as I ever was, though
minus some things I could happily do without,
acquired along the way?
Now I can begin to imagine Lazarus
called back from the dead,
unwinding his lifetime's shroud -
you wake up with a touch of cramp
to see a goggle-eyed bunch of familiar faces
telling you some frankly unbelievable story
in which you appear as the unwitting
central character; apart of course from Him;
and you should feel grateful for this?
when you're a beggar, the milk bill's not been paid,
and you're right out of wild honey?
Ah, here's the pay-off
that the Bible omits to mention -
(unless I'm some special case) -
that like Lazarus, I entered the breakdown van
the world's beggar,
and emerged, a hell-and-back,
with new-found freedom and happiness,
and not a little gratitude,
rich beyond riches.
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