O. Kris Widmer
Begun October 11, 2016 Published: October 11, 2016
Three Word Wednesday #501
Three Required Words - Radiance, Rasp, Rhythm
Based on the events recorded in the Gospel of John, Chapter Eleven.
Radiance, noun: joy, elation, jubilance, ecstasy, euphoria, happiness, delight, pleasure.
Rasp, verb: croak, say hoarsely.
Rhythm, noun: beat, cadence, tempo, pulse, throb, cadence, tempo.
Radiance is missing
from their little house.
It has been waning quickly
for the past two weeks;
likely the entire month.
Well anyhow, certainly for the past 4 days.
The one whom they loved;
the man of the house,
the bread winner,
the bread eater,
is very ill.
The hot and cold fomentations
bring no relief: His nose foams in fever.
The warm tea (with honey, lemon)
the poultices of power powder,
provide no improvement.
After the doctor suggests
that their best and final option is “God”,
They send messages to the one
they are sure God sent.
They send messages - more than one.
We have anointed him!
You are our only hope!
Sooner rather than later!
What’s keeping you!
The patient moans in his delirium,
pulls at the sheets.
His suffering leaves him at last,
along with his last breath.
His sibling sisters
are left with only
their hot tears and cold stares;
as they wash his cooling corpse,
wrapping it in ripped muslin.
He did NOT come.
Perhaps they figured the Master owed them.
After all, He had crashed on their couch,
his fish-mongering entourage had slept
here and there and everywhere.
Had they not filled their hungry bellies
more than once at their expense!
Yes. Oh yes they had!
And they were not even that far away!
Lots of the Jerusalem Jews had come,
offering their condolences,
bringing delicious dishes of comfort food.
Would it have been so hard for Him
to have squeezed them in?
No. It wouldn’t have!
He whom their brother loved
(and He whom they also loved)
twelve adherents trailing.
But too late!
The older sis speaks,
the rasp of regret;
a concise critique
of His terrible tardiness.
Shrill, short accusatory syllables
spill out of her pursed lips.
The younger sister says the same,
only softer, with less spit
Too Little. Too Late.
“Take me to his tomb.” says He.
He has no intent
and is not content
to lay a round wreath of grief.
He lingers there,
a stones throw away
from the stone they rolled
to keep men and beasts out
and the malodors in.
Now it is his turn to cry.
Sobs shake his shoulders.
He loved him too!
The watching multitude murmurs.
The blind leave Him seeing.
The deaf leave Him hearing.
The mute leave Him singing.
The lame leave Him dancing.
The leper leave Him rejoicing.
The outcast leave Him belonging.
Certainly He could have kept this man -
their brother - from dying.
The Master sops his sorrows
on his sleeves and then begins shouting.
“Take away the Stone!”
“Did I not say “If you believed
you would see the glory of God!”
“Father, I’m glad you have heard me.
“I say this here for the murmurs…
so they may know You sent me.”
“Eleazar of Bethany,
(His mamma used that name too to give orders!)
“Lep meff oup ov dis!”
One more laughing shout!
“Take off the grave cloths and let him go!”
Since He was here…
Certainly this man
kept that man -
their brother, your friend
- from staying dead.
Stares…still there…only now
the sisters stare in joyful admiration
The dearly departed
then strides outside
into the sun’s warmth,
trailing linen ribbons,
his heart in a new normal sinus rhythm.