psalm 44: we hand down the tales

dead-sea-scroll-fragment
we hand down the sacred tales,
we tell them in our holy places,
we chant them in our festive seasons,
we sing of how you destroyed
the ones who knew you not, how you
drove them off of the land, how
you decreed victory for us,
your favored people.

we hand down the tales, words that
resonate like phantom limbs,
nerve endings long since severed
yet still vibrating and humming
with raw energy, still insistent
upon the illusion of power.

we hand down the tales, telling
and retelling, numbing ourselves
so they no longer shock
and shame, twisting and turning their
meanings but never fully willing
to look squarely into the heart
of their darkness.

we hand down the sacred tales,
holding on just long enough to
not get burned before we pass
them on to a new generation,
like a dark family secret, here
you are my child we’ve done
the best we can now its all
up to you.

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