Intensely cerebral, alive to every facet of his life’s pleasures, convictions, and ironies, Philip Terman has authored eight collections of poetry and chapbooks, and earned the Anna Davidson Rosenberg Award, the Sow’s Ear Prize, and the Kenneth Patchen Award. A professor of English at Clarion University, he codirects the Chautauqua Writers’ Festival.
WALKING TO JERUSALEM
Pedometer attached to her belt, your mother, spry and strong
at eighty, joins the other Methodist Church members
in calculating the 5,915 miles, no matter the weather, to add up
all the way from Linesville, Pennsylvania to Jerusalem.
They need not worry about miracles or pausing
at the signs of the cross. They need not stop for security
to check their purses for weapons. They need no visa
nor baggage, no money to exchange for the shekels, no guide-
book, no guide. They need no ancient tongue or prophecies.
They are, simply, day by day, walking, mile after mile:
the sink to the table, uptown to the post office, down
the block to visit the sick neighbor. Sundays to and from church.
And when they walk far enough, adding up their pedometers
together, they will arrive in Jerusalem. And keep walking.
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