The Common Good
April 2004

Last Day

by Jill Alexander Essbaum | April 2004

And shall I rise up

And shall I rise up
like a loaf of bread
from being so dead?

Should I walk
towards the light,
or is it a trick (consider

the wick of the candle,
the very poor moth winging
into its flame
)? Will my name

suffice itself, a good deed,
done? And how will You
remember me, knitting

once again my limbs to my skin?
I shall be quite new,
if You please it. Is there room

enough for everyone?
And will it be any fun? Or,
will we reverence ourselves

into eternal ennui? Will the guilty
be gleefully redeemed, or are only
the holy made whole? Tell me,

what exactly will flash before my face
that day - the sum of all my sins,
or the figure of Your perfect grace?

Jill Alexander Essbaum teaches at Concordia University in Austin, Texas. This is from a series of poems that Essbaum tithes to her church.

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