Monday, October 11, 2010

A Blanket for an Old Man

Maybe it was growing up a tee-totaling Baptist that caused me to be puzzled by Noah ending up drunk, passed out and naked at the end of the biblical story of the Flood. I had seen so many lovely illustrations of the wise old man with an ark full of smiling animals and a rainbow overhead. When I was old enough to actually continue reading the story in the Bible, I wondered how God's chosen righteous one ended up drunk and alone in his tent, cursing his offspring. Here is one direction I gave the story as an adult:

A Blanket for an Old Man
by Charles Kinnaird

In the old days
Noah had planted a vineyard.
His wine was sweet and buoyant then
For he was much younger in those days,
And he had never saved the world.

In his new-world vineyard
His body was older and thicker,
His mind heavy with an intractable sobriety
Brought on by bearing the world on his spine
And knowing that he was too old to see it through.
Now his wine made him heavy and sluggish
Until he passed out in temporary oblivion.

Someone should have told him
That humanity's blessings and curses
Will be carried and shared by all,
And that each of us shares
The task of carrying the world
From one generation to the next.


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