The Poetry of Lent – Howls


A man on my block tried to take his own life.
He was miserable and alone and
Inside himself he was
Chained up from within.

Cast out into a wilderness,
He suffered and his neighbors
Never knew.

I never knew.

Who was he?

On Christmas Day
The paramedics came and took him away.

And had we heard his anguish,
His howling,
His pain,
As Jesus heard the demoniac’s,
What would we have done?
What should we have done?

~Alice Schultze