Three Angels

     after Paul Klee

There are not enough shoes
in heaven
no matter what the song says—

which means feet will be
rationed soon
because God says so.

It was the curse of Midas
to know
what happened next,

however limited
however gold.
It was the curse of Jeremiah

to prophesy for the Lord
and regret it
even as he spoke, knowing

Damascus would burn
then Marathon,
Kabul, Jerusalem. Oh God

who taketh away the world,
who among us
could have declined heaven

even when we knew? Only
the meek
are blessed, the sorrowful—

only the secondary,
the poor and pocketless

without laces and aglets,
heels and soles,
eyelets and tongues.

Blessed are those who weep.
the hangdog, the hungry,

the angry, the upper
and lower,
the strapped, the welted.

Blessed those who have
no feet
for they shall see God’s

handiwork. Blessed be God
for whom
the word for world is shoe.

Copyright © 2018 Keith Ratzlaff. Used with permission of the author. This poem originally appeared in The Cincinnati Review, Winter 2018.