The Cup of Eliyahu
by Marge Piercy
In life you had a temper.
Your sarcasm was a whetted knife. /Sometimes you shuddered with fear /but you made yourself act no matter /how few stood with you. /Open the door for Eliyahu /that he may come in.
Now you return to us /in rough times, out of smoke /and dust that swirls blinding us. /You come in vision, you come /in lightning on blackness. /Open the door for Eliyahu /that he may come in.
In every generation you return /speaking what few want to hear /words that burn us, that cut /us loose so we rise and go again /over the sharp rocks upward. /Open the door for Eliyahu /that he may come in.
You come as a wild man, /as a homeless sidewalk orator, /you come as a woman taking the bima, /you come in prayer and song, /you come in a fierce rant. /Open the door for Eliyahu /that she may come in.
Prophecy is not a gift, but /sometimes a curse, Jonah /refusing. It is dangerous /to be right, to be righteous. /To stand against the wall of might. /Open the door for Eliyahu /that he may come in.
There are moments for each /of us when you summon, when /you call the whirlwind, when you /shake us like a rattle: then we /too must become you and rise. /Open the door for Eliyahu /that we may come in.
Marge Piercy, "The Cup of Eliyahu" from The Crooked Inheritance. Copyright © 2006 by Marge Piercy.
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