Publish the Word
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Yeshua -- 17, Captives

In the beginning. . .
was the word

 The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it. Psalms 68:11


            xvii the Captives


A keening or more of a guttural croon, non-human,

     an agonized growl, and then the man the disciples

were holding back fell into-- was it a convulsion,


or dramatized commotion, the fretful scuttling

     of a crab or scorpion?  Yeshua sat silently,

contemplative, as if  slow to return to the world


he was in:  its dark, summery night, oppressive heat,

     ravenous fleas, flies, nits, mites, so many soul-sick,

wounded.  The man would have been his father's age. 


What have you to do with us, Yeshua of Nazareth?

     The voice spoke for the pack.  The others afflicted

waited, alert, breathless, a fire-ring of eyes.  A sprinkle


of ash anointed the scene.  Beyond their concentric

     presence and imperfect pasts, the silence as far as it

carried seemed to howl.  The future abated, all was now.


Shalom.  Come out.  Enough.  Disembodied, scurried

     cockroaches rushed out into nightbugs, aphids, any

halfway sentient hovel, mystifyingly real, unseen, but gone,


they knew. The air felt rinsed.  He who groveled, sundered

     moments ago, rose whole.  Yeshua sighed and blessed him.

He kissed his cheek.  A hound across the valley wailed.


Yeshua closed his eyes.  So many hands clasped him.  You are

     the holy one, a crone, contorted, rasped.  Rebuke my

withered arm, a cripple, moaning, begged.  Another only hissed.