Social Justice Poetry

That Ol’ Cleanliness Is Next to Godliness Conundrum | A Social Justice Poem by Larry Schug

An old gospel song
says His eye is on the sparrow
and, by implication, the fat robin
I watch taking a splash bath
in a shallow puddle
at the edge of an irrigated lawn.
I’ve been told His eye is on you and me,
clean as only Americans can be,
with all the water we want,
but no one seems to have his eye
on the Ethiopian women, backs bent low,
carrying water from a sporadic muddy seep
back to their village on a dry mountain,
fifty pounds, twenty miles, three times a day
hoping to keep their children alive
and their husbands happy one more day.
None of them has taken a bath in their lives,
but they seem at least as godly
as the whistle-clean people filling the pews beside me,
their thoughts already on an afternoon at the lake
as they bow their heads in prayer.

Visit Larry at

~ Your support keeps this site going.