Poetry: The Pilgrim’s Hallelujah

I saw a pilgrim on his way,

It seemed to power and to fame.

I followed to escape the fear of feeling.

If, in his constant company,

If, in his steps, a man I’d be,

Then none would see I’m desperate for healing.


He marched as if by siren’s song,

But then I feared it might go wrong,

When ‘neath the sword he said he’d soon be kneeling.

I said, “The king must go to war,

His enemies must answer for

Their crimes and by their blood we’ll find our healing.”


I trusted through the darkest night,

That day would come and we would fight,

And vengeance for our brokenness start dealing.

But darker nights were still ahead.

With every word the pilgrim said,

It sounded like we’d never find the healing.


They came in at the midnight hour,

With weapons drawn to show their power.

They took away my king and left me reeling.

He bowed his head to their abuse,

Their accusations, then the noose.

The promised king is dead and there’s no healing.


I went back where I was before,

That coward trembling on the floor,

When from the other room I heard a squealing.

I went to see, indeed I saw,

With gaping eyes and gaping jaw,

A barefoot pilgrim king who’d found the healing.


His scars were his distinctive sign,

They ran so deep and looked like mine,

And all that time I saw he’d been revealing,

That all are one in suffering,

That pain is born from victory,

And only in these wounds we’ll find the healing.


Love’s not for the faint of heart.

She gives, but takes more than her part,

And rarely shares the wisdom she’s concealing:

Why down is up and up is down,

Why poor men wear the prince’s crown,

And why in all the mess we find there’s healing.


This journey is now mine to take,

Through death, by noose or sword or stake,

With shaking knees for death is not appealing.

Yet on I push, though not alone,

For even through my cursing groans,

I know that he will use this pain for healing.

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