AT THE WALL
The same molded plastic chairs, there
as everywhere: in this way it is
like the nearby market stalls, though nothing
is bought or sold. We come to pray, to
pour out our hearts. Look,
on the men's side they leap for joy, at
ease with their voices. Here any
vocalization is quiet, more
a whisper than a cry. Everything
I want to say to God blocks my words. Has
She noticed how her children have been
at each other's throats? When I've seen
enough I back away and return to
where once a carpenter faced his death.
Today's prompt at NaPoWriMo is to write a "golden shovel," a form invented by Terrance Hayes. The way it works is this: take a short poem; break it up so that each word is its own line; and then write a new poem in which those are the end-words.
I chose a short poem called "Tourists" by DH Lawrence. (You can read it by reading the last word on each line of my poem, from top to bottom. Or you can find it on this list of poems for people with short attention spans.)
There's a custom of departing from the Kotel (also known as the Western Wall) by walking backwards, rather than turning one's back on the holy place. It is only a short walk from there to the Via Dolorosa.
Photo source is my own photostream again.