Two Poems by Beth Simon


The night is cold; the harvest moon hangs low.
A car drives by, then slows. Does Matthew hear?
His body hung on wood almost a day,
So like a scarecrow those who passed were fooled.

He may have asked the obvious, "My God,
My God, why have you forsaken me?"
Perhaps he knew the answer loud and clear:
The signs, the laws, the sermons testify.

But is that all the answer? Matthew asks
As did that Other, left to hang on wood.
Both drop their eyes from Heaven, gaze at us
With quiet, unrelenting, fearless stare.


Gay Rights Conference

Two thousand blossoms build a mass of bloom.
Unlike the flowerbed, these stir and shout.
Untrammeled energy runs riot in the hall.
A woman cries for order with a smile.

The bodies slow, each slides into a narrow chair.
Huge torsos, slender frames, compose themselves and wait.
While air vibrates in throats, a storm of sound,
Good nature reigns throughout the sweat and crush.

Machines now roar, command and are obeyed.
The speakers rise and greet their audience, the crowd.
A bond begins to form connection through vast space.
Brown woman, bearded man win waves and cheers.

The tension grows to climax on demand.
These men and women spring to pledge their faith and force.
Oppression forges strength, the hammered nail
Bites all the deeper, harder in the brain.

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