She heard rumors about him:
there’s always a demon
to cast out, the sick as hell
He spoke to the multitude
as she sought him out,
shuffled through crowds,
pale, anemic from so much blood
loss, her immune system weak.
No more money. No medicine
to quell hormones, no steroids
to regulate fibroid cysts
running amuck for twelve years.
The young woman, banished to a place
made of goat hair and dyed badger skins
—the Red Tent—as if a leper
exiled from her people, shame gushing
from her flowers more than a decade—
a reproach to men, deemed unclean
by the Religiosity. Even her husband
could not touch her.
He left long ago.
Only in the privacy of her prison
did she find solace; she tabernacle
She was thirsty
in the dry heat of the desert,
in the arid hopelessness.
But he was relentless in healing.
When she touched him
on the fringe of his garment,
power rushed out of him,
and into her
as if an everlasting water.
He called her daughter,
as if a Daughter of Aaron—
order of the high priesthood.
A leader of the synagogue knelt
at his feet, begged for the life
of his daughter. Jairus wore a prayer
shawl too, yet powerless without Him.
What faith! The Christ was arrested
from healing this girl-child,
who was quickly dying, because he felt
compelled to stop and heal the woman
with the issue of blood
before he could slip into her red tent,
quarantined because she was dead.
He called her daughter, too: Pa-is,
servant of the king.
For twelve years, Jairus’ child,
a young maiden who also fought
disease, perhaps leukemia—
white cell phagocytes with no
regard for her life. But Jesus
in his white robe, with a scarlet
prayer shawl draped over her,
a private tabernacle, sprinkled the blood
of the Lamb, touching her,
quickening her dead bones.
Both daughters healed.
There was good blood between them,
Latest posts by John C. Mannone (see all)
- האדום האוהל Ha Adom Ohel: The Red Tent – Poem by John C. Mannone - September 2, 2017
- The Ferris Wheel – Poem by John C. Mannone - June 2, 2017
- After they shut the door – Poem by John C. Mannone - July 15, 2016