Bess

God's need of us
            is also great
            and must equate
Exactly with our own need
            to be needed.

Coming of age in 1948,
            my own soul felt
            as desolate
As poor Bess must have felt,
            clumsy,
            unattractive,
            overweight,
            forced by enigmatic fate
From the Independence
            of her mother's home,
Dressed up in belted suits
            and silly hats,
Made to perform before
            the click and glare
            of a judgmental world,
When all she wanted was
            the gingham,
            country folk
            of her Missouri porch,
And sent to christen submarines
            and wonder at God's meaning
            for work so comic
            and demeaning.

Still, like Bess, I kept my dignity,
            before God's promise that,
            if I attended to
His earthly needs,
            I would be recompensed
            as His true man
            by a redemptive Love,
            both unconditional
            and absolute...
            no less
Than Harry's love was
            for his Bess.