Come, said my Father, and I came,
but as a stranger and a guest,
for he had pledged eternal rest
and the protection of his name.
Yet when I bowed to thank his grace
and praise the honor of his feast,
my eagerness and praise increased
seeing a vision of his face.
My Lord, I said, I praise your name,
I praise this table set with food—
back where we men are poor and crude,
I heard your majesty, and came.
I praise you as a gracious king,
and generous in food and gift,
and thus within my mind I lift
your glory over everything.
Then I was silent, and he said,
I did not ask you for your praise,
nor in your gratitude to raise
my cup to laud my wine and bread.
Why should you come and go as one
who praises me yet knows me not?
Have you not known; have you forgot
that we are kin, and you my son?
You are my blood and so I say
that you must let me raise you up
as one, who drank my bitter cup,
was raised, one yet more bitter day.
For I extend this birthright, one
not sweet in either drink or rest;
yet if you drink, you’ll be no guest,
nor yet a stranger, but a son.
Lynn Martin loves stories and epiphanies, and believes that good poetry expresses humanity’s deepest longings.
Photography by Kenneth Godoy