Keep Watch

A poem by Scott Barton on Habakkuk 1:1–4, 2:1–4.

Photo by Hans Isaacson on Unsplash

On the plane,
I watch the man
Across the aisle
Reading the magazine
With at least one gun
Pictured per page.
Some of the headlines,
Mostly ads, read:

American exceptionalism
A smoother way to shoot
Clinton and Shumer are one election away from taking your guns
Stop any threat dead in its tracks

I worry about this kind of vigilance.
It purports to trust in oneself;
But if truth be told,
The trust is really
In all you can buy
To keep you safe —
Ever bigger, ever faster,
Ever smoother, ever prouder.

Look at them, says Habakkuk;
Some spirit is not right.
But wait for it. Wait for it.
Wait for the exception,
Trust the one who comes to you,
Live like no one will let you down,
Watch for grace for all
That’ll knock your socks off.