Inspired by “E tu Iddio” 
by Danilo Dolci.
“Bamb deega tond yiis toodo, 
la b zii tond base.”
Esaie 53:4, Matthieu 8:17.

You, Jesus, because You live

where sun-baked earth
declines nourishment,
You are lonelier, poorer than I:
I have seen You bent-backed
in a field cultivating soil,

I have seen You shape
clay into a manger,
I have seen You wince with pain 

from sickle cell anemia.

I am initiate in a land
where scars indicate family
and the people I meet
I call my Father’s children
for each person bears His image.

As an infant, Jesus,

on Your mother’s back,
You called to me: “Nazara,”

stretched out Your hands, 

happy for a smile.
Looking at me,
those dark eyes make me sad.

I used to think, Jesus,
that You hid from me:
I scanned countless crosses

and wooden benches
until I found You
playing soccer with friends.
You were barefoot like them

and I read whoever gives

even a glass of cold water

to the least of these 

does so unto You.

Jesus, when I was thirsty

You served me welcome-water
from a hollowed gourd.
The fibers of that gourd 

are sacred as the gold
of the Holy Grail.

Sometimes I’d like to witness 

the six-winged seraphim,
I’d like to hear
the cherubim singing,

but I know
I must go to the village: 

to open air markets

where You sell tomatoes,

to arabesque mosques 

where You pray,
to dusty streets
where You walk in Purdah.

Yes, I have searched heavens,

but I am no astrologer.
I have recognized a manger
by its odor of straw and animal.

For Your suffering troubles me,

to see You undernourished
and feverish moves me,
and if I wash Your running sores,

or comfort You if Your head
burns with malaria,
and offer You water
and the fruit You like:
it is my way of adoring You.

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