Saturday, June 12, 2021

"After the Flare and Flame"


After the Flare and Flame

 The Road to Emmaus: Luke 24: 13 -32

 We knew it no longer mattered

                                                      how we stumbled

away from the gushing women


our brothers who were no longer ashamed

to weep


If we walked twice the seven miles to home

we would


Anything to exhaust the rage

                                                     before we were crushed

and as empty as he said he found the cave


Burning everywhere    our eyes   our throats

our lungs

                   my skin was dry enough to peel

with the merest touch



What stoked this fire   was fear


Neither of us noticed

                                         or cared

to see the stranger nearly upon us


His first words startled me

reawakening the rage that had


settled like ashes  after the flare and flame


The confrontation took us both into a howling

threatening storm of words

                                                    Until he twisted us free

of the knots that had strangled us  these last

fearful days


How could we be blind


could we not hear the voice that will now

forever  hold us  still


                                       Our hunger shifted

from needing  protective enveloping dark

 into the memory of his mother

handing us bread so many nights


When he broke the bread

                                                he brought us

from the tomb where we had cowered


And now we can do   

                                      as he had done

and will always do


give that bread to all


-- Luke


Dedicated and offered as a gift to a group of men bringing their light into an all-too-shadowy world. For the ordination of newly ordained priests:  Ajani Gibson (for the Archdiocese of New Orleans); and for the Midwest Province of the Society of Jesus: Thomas Bambrick; Jeffrey Dorr; Garrett Gundlach; Robert Karle; Aaron Malnick; Hung T. Nguyen; Trevor Rainwater; and Jeffrey Sullivan.