I had such limited choices, really.
Balak compelled me, and God said to go.
Sure, I wanted to oblige Moab’s king.
Was it so wrong to make it appear so?
I am also a child of Abraham.
We stayed in his land. Who are these long-lost
Egyptians, claiming some knowledge of Him?
I’m Midian’s prophet, whom He loves most.
Words from my donkey’s mouth didn’t shock me;
But the words He put in my own? They did.
These dirty sons of Jacob are blessed?
That I should say such words! Oh, God forbid!
But I said them. He forced me -- to fortell
My own people’s destruction. What was more,
He made me place among Jacob’s lineage,
That seed of Eve that we’d been waiting for.
My final word on the subject is this:
To be a prophet is to be a lout.
Backed into corners and compelled to speak
Words that burn the tongue as they spill out.
November 20, 2010
copyright by the author