Sixty-foot Jesus

by Daniel C. Smith

His picture hangs
in every home
shop, cafe, and bar.

His liken image
erupts
from the heart
of the slum,
a Wellspring
of granite and marble,
imposing and white
like the conquistadors
who carried His name
to these shores
(and the Devil slaking
through my veins
).

Wandering, stumbling,
drunken and stoned
among the dispossessed
in the long shadow
cast by the Son of Man,
I found myself adrift
and alone
on a sea of doubt.

I thought
the city fathers
must be wise
like Solomon,
sparing no expense
erecting this monument
to the one who
gave His life
for the poor.

This Holy edifice
and the colonnade
surrounding a sanctuary
built for a statue
are a study in opulence,
a statement in decadence,
a testament to His Glory.

But I wonder about
the beggars crouching
in the shadows,
or the lucky few
in the slab houses
made of sun baked
mud and scraps,

And the empty shops
and orphaned children,
and the resolute young men,
who, absent war,
will never find work,

Or the two little girls
who should be at home
watching Big Bird
starving and begging
across the street from
overflowing fruit stands:

Where is their monument?

Hold them in your hands
dear Jesus,
if not here and now,
at least
somewhere, somewhen.


Daniel C. Smith has published dozens of stories, articles, reviews and poems in the genres of science fiction and horror.  His speculative poetry has received an honorable mention the year’s Best of Fantasy and Horror and has also been included in several anthologies, including ChangesWondrous Web Worlds, and Dwarf Stars.  His two collections of short fictions, “Nano-Bytes” and “3 of a Perfekt Pear” are available from Nomadic Delirium Press, <nomadicdeliriumpress.com>