Love Song of the Anawim
By Susan Yanos
If I could stand with this yoke and still claim
to be free in love and choosing love, free,
it is likely I would ignite a flame.
Raging at injustice burns just the same,
yet rage and love fuse my prophetic plea
if I could but take this yoke and still claim
I heard right: Will you? Yes. And yes again
all these years late. To honor seems my lot
and is likely how I’ll ignite this flame.
I am tired. Let young men with angels strain.
I lock the door, hide, wait for Pentecost,
pray till then I can bear this yoke and claim
tongues other than my own. But a fool’s shame
is to forget she is a fool, a bag
of fat and bones which could be set aflame
by want. So take me, my bridegroom, my name.
Make of me a living lamp in your heart.
See: the yoke of restless desire I claim,
stretch fingers, toes, heavenward, become all flame.
Anawim. From the Hebrew root anah, which means “answer,” especially in a demanding or submissive situation. Traditionally, anawim refers to the powerless.
Susan Yanos is the author of The Tongue Has No Bone, a book of poems, and Woman, You Are Free: A Spirituality for Women in Luke; and is co-editor and co-author of Emerging from the Vineyard: Essays by Lay Ecclesial Ministers. Her poems, essays and articles have appeared in several journals. A former professor of writing, literature and ministry of writing, she now serves as a spiritual director, retreat leader and freelance editor. She lives with her husband on their farm in east-central Indiana (US), where she creates art quilts and tends to her hens, fruit trees and gardens.
Susan's poem 'God Who Sent the Dove Sends the Hawk' was published on Foreshadow in January 2021.
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