Wandering in Search of Truth
I stand before You,
Your word, Your Truth, Your people,
as a boy about to become a man,
who had stopped being a boy years before.
If that sacred space were empty
would I even be able to empty myself before You?
To stop pretending I am pure, like milk, like honey?
I want to scream out across
the generations who venerated You, who praised You,
and ask You why.
Why did You allow this to happen?
Why did You allow Your creation to be defiled?
If You are just and merciful and Your love is everlasting,
how could You allow such evil to take root in Your garden?
How could You concern Yourself with the affairs of others
while I suffered, all the while working to
earn Your favor as a man
of the covenant?
Where were Your flashes of lightning and peals of thunder
to strike him down and set me free?
Where was Your parting of the sea
while I was being torn apart?
Where were Your plagues when I needed them,
to take the first-born son so he could no longer hurt me?
Like so many others I was condemned to wander the desert.
Who are You to me — then, now and always?
I do not know. All I know is the taste of sand.
Phil Goldstein is a journalist and writer who has been living in the Washington, D.C, area for more than a decade. His poetry has been published in the journals In Parentheses and The Ideate Review, and his work is also forthcoming in Awakened Voices. By day, he works as a senior editor for Manifest, a content marketing agency.