Summer Poetry Slam 2013 Winner - Week 7
by: Constance Doubter
I can’t keep from thinking about this whole death thing
and God thing and how humans see themselves compared with different
species thing, and there is a knot in my throat like I was
close to something when I first called religion wool. I believe the Bible
was written by men afraid of mortality, with no control, yet maybe
special somehow. In Mathew 5:5, the meek shall inherit the earth.
We are pompous to assume it will be meek men who inherit the earth.
What if a flea inherits the earth or a cockroach or some other meek thing
that doesn’t seem to have an obvious point or purpose except just maybe
to steal the earth from man? I’ve wondered like this always. At 7, different,
plagued with questions that piqued my little brain about passages in the Bible
I was given to read after I’d dedicated my life to something else. I’ll admit I was
ashamed that I’d lied and said I prayed Him into my heart when really I was
sitting silent, uncomfortable in front of my parents, wondering what on earth
it was I was suppose to say. Years later, I faked again at a week-long Bible
camp when I shook the sweat off my pen and wrote under a pillow case secret things
I could only whisper inside while my outside agreed with the hundred or so different
preachers threatening me to act a certain way and accept certain kinds and maybe
recruit others to add to the collection plate during Sunday services and maybe
even Wednesday nights, too. The heat of the water kept me nodding. I was
trapped on my parent’s belief, looking for a sturdy raft to take me to a different
side of the island. But the wind picked up and steered me to the other side of the earth
and I found freedom in the solitude and began questioning more and more things
like will I too turn to a pillar of salt and exactly how many arguing Bibles
are there? Were the storytellers chosen so God wouldn’t have to write the Bible
Himself? Listen to me, I sound like one of those door-to-door salesmen. Maybe
God is really a woman but some collared men got together to talk things
over a long time ago and unanimously decided that this sort of information was
detrimental to their business plans, a good excuse to rewrite the history of the earth
if you ask me. So now we believe we will live forever as long as churches are different
enough to give one another someone else to blame, but not so different
because we are smart enough to look up for something to grasp, a leather Bible
perhaps to shield us from seeing that we are just like everything else on this earth
and must rot and decay and nourish other life from our death and maybe
that is the only key to eternal life. I wonder this for irony’s sake because that was
not exactly what we all had in mind with that whole garden of Eden thing.
I question if fear and faith are really such different things, one from the rib of the other.
I’ve always felt the Bible was duping me with its streets of gold and pearly gate.
I don’t know. Maybe it seems more likely to me that fleas will inherit the earth.