Monday, September 20, 2010

The Story Turns into a Poem

For many weeks I scrubbed it, that spot so white, so dead.
I told myself it couldn't be, but then the patches spread.
The doctors gasped; I found myself alone outside the city;
I wept as people watched in fear, their loathing mixed with pity.
Alone I begged beside the path where once I'd proudly walked; They threw me little scraps of bread, but no one stayed to talk.
I missed their touch, my son's small hand, my father on my arm, my wife--If she should get it too--
"Unclean! Stand Back!" "Alarm!"

I waited...and I wearied...I'd forgotten how to pray.
I grew cynical and surly, and I dreaded every day
One evening brought two hurried men; I heard their tattered speech: "He's meddlesome...he'd better leave...he angers all the priests. He breaks the sabbath, quotes the scripture as if it were his own,
Talks to sinners...and touches things that were better left alone."

At a distance in the evening gray, I saw them all outlined,
a dozen rushing far ahead, and a weary one behind.
I dared not think. I only ran, with a burst of speed that drained me,
feet tearing on the jagged rocks; but nothing would restrain me.
Then in the dust beside the road I crumpled overcome,
I bled unclean upon the path. To what depths had I plunged?
I heard my own heart throbbing, then footsteps on the path.
I covered my head to shield it from the traveler's certain wrath.

Footsteps tired...slowing....stopping. I dared not face the man.
I just cried "If you are willing....Sir I know, I know you can."
Then I felt it. His hand upon me. "I am willing. You are clean."
He had touched me. I was human. I was not a thing obscene.

He had touched me! The untouchable!
"Show the priests that you are well."
"Don't tell anyone who healed you.
But of course....I had to tell.


  1. you are so talented...
    lovely story.


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