I was glad to turn away
from the midday sun,
to head north to Jericho;
pleased to be leaving behind
the heavy dust of Jerusalem
and its superior people.

I am always polite to Hebrews,
one cannot avoid them altogether,
especially when one is in business.
I nod, smile, flatter, strike the deal, and move on,
knowing that behind their equally polite smiles,
they are even more relieved than I
to see me depart.

The man was lying by some rocks,
having dragged his bruised and bleeding body
into the little shade.
He’d been there for some time,
or so it appeared,
his only company
an abundance of flies; the faithful many
who need no invitation
to make themselves welcome.
Stripped naked
with but a few leaves to maintain his dignity,
he could have been Samaritan, like me,
or one of them. In these moments all such questions
are an affront to God;
his blood was red,
so I stopped.

  © Ken Rookes


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