A cleft in the Rock
(Exodus 33:21-22)

A place by him to stand on—the rock.
As his glory glides by, he hides me
in its cleft; covers me with his hand
while his glow dazzles, brighter
than a million suns.

The rock, immovable rock—a place
of safety; by his side—warm in winter,
cool in summer. There he shields me
from his glare; from the splash
of his churning wrath.

But God’s slow to kill—rarely does,
restrained by love heftier than hurt
the world heaps up on him. His anger
may boil, drive me mad; a cleft
by his side, wide & deep, yawns

a hide away. Not ready to roil his
heart, he holds back the bile, wishing
I see his strength lies in love;
would let his son clean up the mess:
die for me, so I may live for him.

He knew my form before I was; knows
me now, tender and weak: he, firm.
He framed me of frail dust—tending
me down the way of dust on the wing
of his love till, perchance, I step

on street of gold. His love’s golden,
there for me. And that, by his grace!
I can’t fathom the mystery, for I’m
wilting grass, unsafe in the sun,
save in the deep cleft of the rock.

© 2017 Celestine Ikwuamaesi

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