Saturday, April 11, 2009

part 1: leprosy diagnosed

so God spoke to Moses
and told him about leprosy.

if someone had a spot,
an infection
that went beneath the surface of the skin,
he was went to the priest.

the priest examined him
and quarantined him.

for a week he sat in isolation
with thoughts vacillating between hope and despair
as he observed the spot
and contemplated his future.
would he be an outcast?
could he go back to normal life?
oh, the everyday burdens and irritations
seemed beautiful
and welcome!
he wondered about God--
did God care?
would God heal?

the priest returned.
"it is leprosy".

the leper torn his clothes in grief.
he covered his mouth and went through the streets.
the word tore from his lips
expressing fathomless anguish
as he left the village,
the city that had been his home.

as he sat in isolation
his despair turned to acceptance
and he wondered about the ritual
for the cleansing of a cured leper.
the bird slain and the bird set free,
the cedar, the hyssop, the scarlet thread.
the offerings for sin and guilt and peace.
the final rejoicing.

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