How was it, Ishmael? a lectionary poem

How was it she waited
The troubled princess
Till her very own
Was on water like you
To cast you out
Class you out
Race you out
Have you escorted out
At your mothers side

How was it your father
Heard YHWH
Granting him obedience
Beyond his troubled soul
To send you out
With bread and skinned water
In limited supply
Into the wilderness
Between hidden wells

How was it your mother gave up
When the water dried up
Leaving you on trees edge
Out of sight
Out of shame
Weeping to herself
As you cried for comfort
Alone on shaded sand

How was it YHWH heard you
Sent an angel to your mother
Called her by name
To not be afraid
Opening her eyes
To a wellspring of life
To a promise
To a future
As a kingdom in the wilderness

How is it I now
Find myself at times like you
Cast out
Crying out
At the mercy of angels
And the earshot of YHWH
And the bowshot of loved ones
In a desert of wells
Helpless on my own.

Come, Lord Jesus.
Come.

“How was it, Ishmael”
by David Tensen
June 2020

Genesis 21:8-21
Lectionary Proper 7. Year A.

Image: Hagar and Ishmael by Alan Jones

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