Sonnet Sunday 52: Moses’ Lament

Hey look, I’m on Sonnet 52! That’s a year of Sonnet Sundays! Go me!

First, some business. I still have probably another year’s worth of sonnets to go, but having hit the year mark for sonnets, I may occasionally mix things up with non-sonnets. We’ll see.

Second item of business: who would like email notifications for my blog? I was going to just plain start up a mailing list, but it’s more complex than you’d think for technical reasons. That said, if people are interested I’ll come up with a workaround for that. Leave a comment if you’d prefer that method!

On to today’s sonnet. In honor of hitting the year mark, I decided to post my newest one; in fact, at the time of this posting it’s less than 24 hours old.

For years now, my personal Bible study habit has been to read through the Bible a chapter or two each day, straight from Genesis to Revelation. Currently I’m in the book of Exodus. Friday night’s reading was Genesis 5-7; the part that struck me was that Moses did what God had asked and requested that Pharaoh give the Israelites a mere three days to go and worship. Pharaoh’s response was to make the Israelites work harder; they had the same quota of bricks to make, but now they had to fetch their own straw as well. So the Israelites just turned to Moses and Aaron and cursed them out.

I suspect God works this way more than we want to admit. He gives a command, and the immediate effects of obedience are pretty much opposite of what we want or expect. At least we have the benefit of history. We know the end result for Moses. But Moses didn’t, and this is my attempt at putting myself in his head.

Moses’s Lament

Originally written June 16, 2018

O Lord. O Lord. O Lord. You made it worse.
I went to Pharaoh—did what You had asked—
And he assigned an even harder task
Upon your suff’ring people. Now they curse
Our names, saying we never should have gone
To him, or asked for any days of rest.
Now Pharaoh’s cursed us, we whom You have blessed.
No straw for bricks! I think that Pharaoh won.
God, damn him! You told me You were aware
Of all the wailings of the week and poor!
Good God! I can’t see how we will endure
Such harsh mistreatment. Some answer to prayer!
—What’s that You say? Just see what You will do?
You started this. I guess I’ll see it through.

Photo by Pradeep Gopal on Unsplash

Posted in poetry
One comment on “Sonnet Sunday 52: Moses’ Lament
  1. Elizabeth Basala says:

    I have your blog in my list on Feedly, so I see it there whenever you post. 🙂

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