The Forgiving Manager: For National Poetry Month

The Forgiving Manager

In a story Jesus tells, there’s a manager
whose master catches him bleeding
the till– then lets the embezzler
settle the accounts. The manager forgives
great debts that are not his:
makes a thousand bushels of grain
six hundred and a thousand measures
of wine four hundred; tells each creditor
to record this, quickly, on his bill.
And the master applauds the manager’s gall,
his use of his position to ease
the weight of credit on his neighbors.

Forgiveness is a mischief that anyone
can play, releasing one’s cohorts
from the bonds of books– as Jesus
forgives payments never owed to him,
usurping undercover the prerogatives
of God. Any son or daughter of man
can do this. Who are you, he is asked,
to forgive a man’s sins? He evades
the question, proclaiming simply that sins
are forgiven. It’s not about authority.
It’s about who dares to take the pen.

-Brian Day


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