Parable: The Blade, the Ear, the Full Grain
There must be at least one woman
standing on that beach at Galilee,
taken immediately out of her daily cares,
sweat drying, salty on her brow,
one man leaning against his ropes and nets
taken temporality away from his anxieties,
hearing something in the strange man’s words,
and wondering what soil they came from,
see the new green blade smashed by sandal-step,
imagining the fragile ear choked by thorns,
feeling the wind of the winnowing fan
and wondering at the grain and the chaff.
Finally, sun in the middle distance,
eyes bleary from sweat and tears,
going back to mending his nets,
two sharpening her scythes,
not worrying over the ringing in your ears,
knowing that everything was about to change—
I don’t need to know what it all means.
William Patterson lives in Atchison, Kansas, with his wife and their four children. He and his wife are both proud public educators and graduates of Benedictine College. William has a master’s degree in Literature and Literary Theory from the University of Kansas and has taught high school literature and composition courses for over twenty years. His work has been published in Benedictine (literary magazine of the Sisters of Mount Saint Scholastica, Atchison, KS), Kansas English, Into the Teeth of the Wind, BAP Quarterly online and print publications.