Burdens

My wife came across this poem I wrote a few years ago in Zambia and I thought it was worth sharing. Merry Christmas friends!

Burdens
By Jerry Ireland

Cornmeal and cases of orange drink.
Eight foot long poles of sugar cane,
babies, laundry, groceries, charcoal,
crates full of live chickens.
Water buckets and buckets
full of rocks, dirt and sand.
Iron beams, lumber and dirty dishes.
Things to sell, things to clean,
things to gather, things to throw away.
Work to be done.
This is what Africans do.
They bear burdens.
The small ones upon their heads
and upon their shoulders.

Death and funerals.
AIDs, malaria, children, orphans,
alcoholism, battered wives,
broken lives, jobless, hungry, cold.
Mosquitoes, flies, dust – dust all the time.
Dry and hot. New season. Rain, wet, damp,
drizzle, muddy, soaked. Bogged down.
Things to mourn, things to heal,
things to comfort, things to protect,
things to love.
Work to be done.
This is what Africans do.
They bear burdens.
The big ones on their minds and in their hearts.

Manger, baby, king, miracles, ministry.
Bread, Life, Way, Truth, Hope.
Arrest. Mocking, spit, fists, beaten.
Thorns, blood, cross, nails, flesh, death.
Sacrifice, forgiveness, resurrection.
Salvation to bring, captives to set free,
liberty to proclaim, healing to give.
Work finished.
This is what Jesus does.
He bears burdens.
All of them on the cross.

Full stop.

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One thought on “Burdens

  1. Thanks for sharing Jerry and I say amen. You have to have been here to fully grasp how life is in Africa. Very good and praise God that Jesus’ burdens were for all of us no matter where we live. Hallelujah.

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