Wooden Leg

the hospital bed on which I lay

(the iron bars

behind which I stay)

snagged here to suffer a great loss,

amputated leg to be my crux


so I devise a sturdy escape

(I must be free

of the wound, agape)

from a piece of Adam’s tree

crafted solely by me


I made for myself a wooden leg

(to take the place

of my cursed maime)

for there is no other way

but the way I make


although I see I’m not yet free

(from the crux

of my injury)

I reject the tree on calvary

for my vainglorious cross


where then is my autonomous fate?

(I thought by now

I could escape)

the piece of wood meant to redeem

a splinter in my side


(Wooden legs and prison chains

begin to look the same

when self reliance

becomes man at his highest)


ah, and now I see my own tree rots

(this injury I

vainly fought)

a different tree I now must seek

a shoot from David’s stump


but to realize this is not enough

(still I take up

the wrong cross!)

I’m afraid my counterfeit topiary

brings me to my grave


(at last

it is finished)


Depart my self-made promenade!

Here I’m dying

yet chains are gone!

From rotten leg to tree of true love,

sin to sprouting dawn