ladder to heaven

it’s said that with one’s beloved even huts are a heaven
beneath a bridge, in a forest, or in a palace or stable
far and wide, samson’s happy near his lovely delilah
but her sighs are so sad as she peers up at the sky

and he says, “why, lovely delilah? what ruckles your brow?”
and she says, “we are pinned to the earth like insects dying
and shall never know unearthly love”

samson, helpless, wipes the tears from delilah’s comely face
though her soul brims up and fain does make too many more
so he slays the lions, and lays their pelts at her distrait feet
then rows of their foes’ severed heads to vainly prove his love

and he says, “why, lovely delilah? is my heart not ample?”
and she says, “this rope ladder to heaven is old and it’s worn
and cut short, it ends high, so far above”

samson’s mane, his pride and joy, he takes it to blade and cuts
drops seven black braids, resonant rungs, and affixes them thus
so each is a new tone to heaven, delilah’s face is now alight
she puts her first step to, then up and up, dole melting away

and he says, “why, lovely delilah? you hie but give no hand?”
and she says, the sun is on the wane, i must wheech past vesper
and behold the gleam that pends beyond”

samson weakens, hands atremble, ropes bite his palms like snakes
he slips and scrabbles, unable to take hold and thus follow
delilah ascends, from strength to joy, as samson sadly crumples
she’s enraptured by the shimmer of a blithe evening star

and he gasps, “why, lovely delilah? i spent myself for you!”
and she says, “an empty vessel could never quench my thirst
and no earthborn could show me unearthly love”


© All rights reserved 2018

38 thoughts on “ladder to heaven

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