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Touch By The Troublemaker

he put his hands on people with leprosy
outcasts, their scaly wounds noseless faces
fingerless hands
covered with gunnysacks
those he touched, recovered
he touched dead bodies too
and they lived
eating food with their people

but the leaders called him an outlaw
took him by military hands
they whipped him bloody and torn
spiking him to a rough crossbeam of wood
hanging between the darkened sky
and the blood-puddled earth
thorn-crowned, he gasped - paid in full
and died as the old scrolls said

to check for death, the soldiers pierced his side with a spear
blood and water poured from the broken
pericardium

the body put in a merchant's
rock-hewn family burial cave
a heavy stone to seal the mouth

the leaders washed their hands of the troublemaker

but
the dead man wrapped in a chrysalis like cocoon
in layers of seventy pounds of cloth and spices
on a cold slab in the mausoleum cave

the man walked out
just as the old scrolls said

a woman came to grieve for him
saw the stone off to the side
a man outside as the gardener

calling her - mary, clearing her eyes
overjoyed she cried - rabbi, my teacher

mine too  that troublemaker










3.5 10/10
© Brian Peter Hodgkinson 
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