Disobedience (verse)

When I submitted my short prose piece Disobedience (click through for background) to a poetry anthology, I reformatted it into lines. Here is that version.


It was only an hour before the appointed time,
when the Lord would send his angel of death –
the angel with the flaming sword that would cut
out the heart of each Egyptian family.

Rachel snuck out while her father was bundling
their few possessions, and her mother was
cleaning the remains of the tiny leg of lamb
they’d been given by their next door neighbor.

She moved quickly down the street, careful not to slosh
the blood in the bowl she carried. At each Egyptian home
she reached, Rachel dipped her rag into the bowl,
and hastily dribbled blood on the doorframe.

She kept on running into the dark, painting hope
on as many doors as she could reach, until
the dawn broke, and Rachel heard the first wails
of anguish from the homes further on down the street.


little seed, you are my hope

only you can keep
my labor from coming back empty
only the fruit you bear
can fill the bellies of those i love

so i plant you with utmost care
avoiding rock and thorn and gravel
i break my back to nourish you
carrying pure water from afar

i watch
and wait for you to sprout
but you don’t

i see the dry earth split above you
as your own precious body
cracks in two

tears stream down my cheeks
and mingle with dew dripping
from the cedars that surround us
pouring into your cloven heart

i see you sending tendrils
reaching down deep into the earth
touching the roots of these mighty trees

green vines begin to grow
exploring over the ground
further than i can follow
forming fruit
sweet and plump and nourishing
fulfilling the desire of those in need

with a trembling hand
i reach out
and taste