Oh Boy Jeremiah

Now the word of the LORD came to me saying,
"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
and before you were born I consecrated you;
I appointed you a prophet to the nations."
Then I said, "Ah, Lord GOD! Truly I do not know how to speak, for I am only a boy." But the LORD said to me,
"Do not say, 'I am only a boy';
for you shall go to all to whom I send you,
and you shall speak whatever I command you.
Do not be afraid of them,
for I am with you to deliver you,
says the LORD."
Then the LORD put out his hand and touched my mouth; and the LORD said to me,
"Now I have put my words in your mouth.
See, today I appoint you over nations and over kingdoms,
to pluck up and to pull down,
to destroy and to overthrow,
to build and to plant."
 - Jeremiah 1:4-10

He heard a voice that only men hear when ears open
put down his blue light saber removed his holster and belt

disassembled his Lego kingdom castle
and retired his knights and horses and trebuchet

boxed up the green Army men with frozen pea faces
and decommissioned the generals and their monochrome medals

put his red-tipped pistol in the garbage with the Mountain Dew
and tossed the paper-tape caps and plasticized badge

the boy heeded his interior for the first time and convulsed
at the call to be strong in word and muscle and heart and will

the yearning to do holy things for magnanimous purposes
and drop pretense and armor and put his own flesh on

he looked at his father’s leathered hands
his uncle’s gray hair and grandfather’s worn out body

he weighed the heft of work ahead against the helium frivolity 
of youth and so he said to the Spirit that haunted him

oh boy, he said, it looks too hard for this boy
and the Spirit said to the one naked without toys, oh man


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