I made sackcloth also my garment; and I
became a proverb to them.
They that sit in
the gate speak against me; and I was the
song of drunkards.
I made sackcloth my garment once, by cutting
arm and neck holes into a burlap bag.
A croker sack they called it.
they called the man who dragged a croker sack
between the cotton rows to pick.
a gunnysack behind him in the ditch
Him they chose
the Likeliest to Sack Seed in the feed store,
or to suck seed.
He was your daddy.
groceries part-time, and they jeered:
you sorry sack of shit.
which Job sewed upon his skin, was goat hair.
God who clothed the heavens with such blackness
said, I make sackcloth their covering.
God had him speak a word
in season to the weary.
Speak, Isaiah, now, to me.
Before the stars like green figs in a windstorm
drop, the sun is black as sackcloth, and the moon
becomes as blood.
My soul is weary.
I was a scholar as a boy:
I cut the neck and arm holes into the burlap,
pulled it on, and cinched it with a hank of rope:
what I have done from then till now is itch.