Post-Easter Sestina

Reading the Bible and writing poetry in a quiet house.  Life is good today.

Thank you for your words for my sestina.  The poem I wrote is below.  If you’ve written one, I’d love to see it!  You can send it to me via the “Contact” page–and let me know if I am allowed to post it.

Of Fish and Fear and Resurrection: A Sestina

The tomb stands there, smelling of flesh,
but the entrance—or exit, I guess, since something obviously left–
is no longer blocked by the stone.
It is clear something fishy
is going on—especially when the glowing men appear
and insist: “Do not be afraid.”

Which is a sure sign that fear
is justified. Goosebumps prickle the women’s flesh,
sweat pours from their palms, and they try to appear
calm as they turn and leave
the graveyard to find the fishermen,
the tax collector, and the rest of the guys to tell them about the stone.

The one supposed to be sealing the tomb. That stone.
The guys are curious and confused and mostly afraid.
Peter and Andrew were really hoping they could get back to fishing
since it turned out Jesus was just flesh
and blood after all; since Jesus was dead now the authorities could leave
them all alone. But apparently

things were not back to normal yet—with the appearance
of these hysterical women and their story of the stone.
Why couldn’t people just leave
well enough alone? Now rumors swirl and the fear
returns. The disciples gather and flesh
out a plan—basically they will lock all the doors and eat their fish

in peace. It works for a few hours, everyone blithely chewing fish
and checking the locks. Then, despite their precautions, Jesus appears
and shows them where the nails ripped into the flesh
of his palms. Jesus is there. They are all stone
cold sober. A new kind of fear
settles in—a nagging sense that won’t leave

them alone. A realization that they must believe.
Only they don’t know what to believe. So they go out to fish.
That’s not going so well and they’re afraid
supper will be meager until a stranger appears
on the shore, just a stone’s
throw away. His friendly greeting makes their flesh

crawl. But they do what he says and fish suddenly appear,
leaving little doubt about who the stranger is as they haul in the net, heavier than the stone.
Jesus says, “Do not be afraid.” Yet there he stands—in the flesh.

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