Poetry

I am poured out like water,
And all my bones are out of joint.
My heart has turned to wax;
It has melted away within me.
My strength is dried up like a potsherd,
And my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth;
I am laid in the dust of death.

Dogs have surrounded me;
A band of evil men encircles me,
They have pierced my hands and feet.
I can count all my bones;
Men look and stare upon me.
They divide my garments among them
And cast lots for my clothing.
Ps. 22:14-18

To me, this passage is extremely moving. Nothing like a little old testament to shake off the cliches of modern poetry, and yet despite it’s age the emotions conjured by these words are entirely relatable. It’s weird how, when we are emotionally drained or stressed or discouraged we talk about those things in terms of their physical effects. A potsherd is a piece of pottery, not necessarily whole, like a pot, but maybe just a piece of broken pottery. Gardeners know that unglazed clay pottery absorbs water readily because it is so porous and dry. This is good imagery for a person weary of injustice. Today we might say “bone-dry” to express the same sensation, and I already used the “drained” to explain this. This passage is an obvious comparative to Jesus’ cross experience. It is from this chapter Jesus quotes when he cries out “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani.” We don’t know what David is weary of, but his words point to the suffering of his progeny, in eerie concomitance between metaphor and reality.

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