redriving the nails

do not speak to me of 
duty
pleasing
toil
commandments
His elusive will
denial
perseverance...
all nails in my coffin
rocks in my rucksack
thick fingers wrapped around my skinny arms pinning them down to my sides and rousing the anger and strength of a thousand panicking horses trapped in a burning barn

speak no more of those because- even if you are right--
you're my stumbling block.
I can't get to those words without free arms
without being able to wave them and scream
SOMETHING IS NOT RIGHT.
SOMETHING HURTS.
INJUSTICE LURKS AND NO ONE SEES.
THE CARS PASS ON THE ROAD AND DON'T EVEN REALIZE THERE'S DISTRESS.
THE WHITE HANDKERCHIEF IN THE WINDOW IS NOT ENOUGH.

but do speak to me of
peace
love
compassion
dirty feet and basins
aprons
soft pats and tight hugs
ears to listen
words that are heard
loose arms free to gesture, not flail, because they're unpinned.
hands to reach turned up and empty
ready to receive instead of block and guard.
tell me about purity, given not demanded,
naps and sabbaths
warm baths and and white towels.

rebellion's not always rebellion
sometimes it's right
sometimes it's loud but true
and until it hits the right ear
it can't speak politely,
but it shouldn't have to apologize.
so listen to the profane despair
unclamp your ears.
maybe the despair can calm and round out its sharp edges if you don't act so soft
if it can suffer it, surely you can listen to it