I don’t remember the first blow.
But it knocked me down.
I rose quickly and sang a song of praise,
for that is what I was taught to do.
Pull up your socks.  Be grateful.  Trust in goodness.  And walk on.

The next few stabs came in swift succession.
Before I could straighten up, I was laid low.
Baffled I looked up from the floor.
Why this assault?  A slip of fate?  A test of faith?
Taking a deep breath, I got up on tenterhooks.
And once upright I gave thanks.
Be grateful. Trust in goodness. And walk on (with a slight limp).

I hadn’t gone three steps before the rain of intense punches returned.
Overwhelmed I fell to the ground and suffered a pool of tears.
“I shan’t be defeated.” I sobbed.
“Watch me revive.  I shall conquer. I will thrive.”
Ignoring the bloody pain, I choked, but venerated God.
Trust in goodness. And walk (stumble) on.

The last bullet killed me.
I did not pull up my socks.
I broke.
There was no strength left in me
to raise my voice in praise,
to offer prayers of thanksgiving,
to worship.

My cup was empty.
“Why?  I shouted, on my back.
I raised a fist toward heaven.
“What the hell are you doing?”
I screamed my accusations.
“There’s no pleasing you!   I GIVE UP!”

Then everything was frozen silence.
And I heard God smile.
Now allow me.”