Jesus Meets a Parable.
Jesus Meets a Parable
There is a lesson you've been teaching them
for almost three years now, so patiently--your
every blessed word and gesture hung upon,
your pedagogical resources mined almost
They follow you like hungry children squalling for
that holy bread they heard about;
they wolf it down, but only
one in ten connects the healing
with the One who heals.
They simply cannot grasp the deeper meaning--merely
dazzled by the multiplying loaves and frightened
silly by your momentary domination of a wave or two.
And yesternight at supper, when
that clutch of Pharisees barged in
to point accusing fingers at your unwashed hands.
you called them hypocrites, then later
lost your temper with your friends
still asking how you fed the multitude and
what on earth you meant by it.
You hope your father won't begrudge a
weekend getaway in Tyre, alone--for
metaphorical replenishment of inner candies.
So, you slip away across the border to a sleepy suburb
in the foreign bosom of a pagan god,
and book into a little place where your celebrity
can twinkle quietly beneath a bushel.
There, she finds you.
Never mind the private sign upon the door.
She's veiled, of course,
according to the custom of the place,
and all you see are weary, shadowed eyes
like those of that thin cur who barked outside just now.
She says her daughter has a demon--(here's
another one who wants a piece of you.)
You tell her it's not fair
to throw the children's bread to dogs.
(You can't believe you said this, but you did.)
Her eyes are mirrors;
you can see your tiny face reflected there,
the mouth that let the insult free,
the hand that was not quick enough to cover it.
Her eyes become a loving mother's eyes
that see a tired and fretful darling boy.
"Even the dogs," she says, "beneath the table
eat the children's crumbs."
In that instant
All the bread you ever were, is leavened--doubled,
and suddenly you know the answer to that question
were loath to ask:
Those brimming baskets at the hillside feast,
those pesky fragments--whose
The lesson just got harder,
and the children's mouths more numerous than
ever could be filled without
a death-defying miracle.
You thank her and you grant her wish
and show her shrouded body to the door,
then turn your face toward Jerusalem.