Midnight Wrestling

Hoarsely breathing.
Sweat’s aroma growing.
Taste of dust across the teeth.
A shapeless silhouette against the stars.
Muscles aching, skin abrading, jaw clenched tight,
we wrestle to the dawn.

In ignorance I strain.
In ignorance I fumble for a hold.
In ignorance I push or pull or pivot.
In ignorance I gasp for breath, inhale, exhale,
and beg for blessing, beg for name.

Is this you, God?
Do you produce this ache
by dislocation of my frame?
Is this the silent panting struggle with Creation?
Is this you, God?

No name.
Just a name for me,
a name for a devoted wrestler, but
I weary of the struggle, weary of the pain,
weary of the ignorance.

If you must put
your arms about me once again,
might it be a parent’s warm embrace
and not to separate my fragile, aching bones.
Oh, bless me as I am.

A poem/prayer based on Genesis 32:22-31, the Revised Common Lectionary First Reading for Year A, Proper 13 (18).

Drawing of Jacob wrestling with the angel by Alexander Andreyevich Ivanov – http://religionart.narod.ru/gal9/photo45.htm, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9087629.

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