POEM

 

 

Truth:

yours is a stark

strange and

terrible beauty

 

I love you

above all things

You’re always there

at labyrinth’s end

like the Minotaur

like Death

 

You point me to

what I truly have:

no material thing;

no body,

no soul

other than my own.

 

You reveal the face

that’s masked

You unveil the ordinariness

behind the gorgeous farce

 

You are cruel

but in the end

you are only kind

 

You cut me like

a surgeon’s blade

You free me

from the lies

You tear the cataracts

from my eyes

 

I love you, Truth

I am a sojourner to you.

 

This poem was inspired by Sojourner Truth (1797?-1883), a black woman who was born a slave and following an experience of illumination became a preacher, an abolitionist, writer, friend of the famous. She died poor. She had regal bearing and liked fine clothes, soberly tailored, of rich fabrics. Truth had the gift of eloquence. She spoke with the force of a prophet, but with a disarming, earthy humor that surprised and captivated her audience.