All Commentary
Friday, September 19, 2014

To Justify the Ways of God to Men

(Summer, 1961, age 10)


“O that I knew where to find Him,
that I might even come to His dwelling.”
—Job 23:3

Through bedroom windows came the voice of God,
P.A.’ed  as loud as hell from a vacant yard. 
By paying just a pittance weekly rent,
he’d bought the rights for Heav’n to canvas tent,

for himself, a wrinkled suit. To souls within, 
this Milton raged against the night’s great sin,
off-stage slipped cash to an accomplice saint
to spike the offering net, cry Job’s complaint.

I’d lie in bed unable to speak or sleep.
Just years before I’d prayed “my soul to keep.”
My squinting eyes peered deep into the dark
for girls who soon would light my sinful spark.

Reverent, I bore the human, mortal wound.
The Lost, the Sick, the Doomed, the ladies swooned.


  • Paul Dickey is the author of two collections of poems, Wires Over the Homeplace (Pinyon Publishing, 2013) and They Say This Is How Death Came into the World (Mayapple Press, 2011).