Mercy
  a poem for voices

less than you know ...
when I was a child, I knew
less
around and

around, I was happy and
laughed. Day followed day, when my

mother would feed me, and
raise me and tell me the stories
of Jesus, or
home

-- He had no home!

where He lived with the goats
and the children.
With others.

With the other children in your
mother's arms,
you learned the stories.
You ate the soup, the breakfast
food.
You learned the stories
you were being
told
at home, and at church, and

now, you're old enough to know
to each, his own! Her own.
You eat food, draw more
thoughts
with the words you've learned-
make money, if money is around

- or shorn or square! Anywhere
in-between with your name
in-between ...

... and choose your own church. Sunday
is the day, if you
work, you know.
God!

You eat well enough. You know well
enough, that
you are a child of the

church.
You eat well enough.
You work for your money (that
hourly wage
and the Word, God's
Word, are enough, bye-and-bye!)
Enough, given help from your
brother, hungry or
less ...

ALL: MERCY!
MERCY!
MERCY!
(Money...) - MERCY!!
MERCY!
MERCY!
MERCY!
(Money...) - MERCY!!

~~ Stan Burriss

In StreetWrites shows, we read in a flow of alternating voices. Stan wrote this, his longest poem ever, specifically for a StreetWrites reading in 1998. We have used it many times since.

Stan Burriss