The Cymbalist

I step into her house and find
The truth behind the clichéd line,
That cleanliness is Godliness.

She wakes up at the dawn of dawn
And with a prayer carries on
Her daily act of sweeping mess.

And once her house is speckless clean,
She doodles with her chalk a scene
Of God in bountiful largesse.

She lives alone, without a phone,
Without a lot to call her own,
Except the clothes she keeps to dress.

Her neighbours always bring her food.
And if they don’t, all well and good.
She feels no hunger, no distress.

At dusk, she cymbals to announce
The object she’ll today renounce,
To live her life with one thing less.

She gives away a thing a day
In hopes the taker learns to pray,
For God is not so quick to bless.

He took away her man, her sons,
Her farms that yielded tons and tons,
Her pride of living in excess.

She’s grateful, though, for fortune’s fall –
A cautionary tale for all
Who lose themselves in quick success.

I volunteer to clear the plate
From which we both together ate.
She blesses with a kind caress.

I ask her if she’ll be okay
To let me take her gift today.
She picks her chalk and smiles a “Yes”.

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