About this Christian Poet:
Abigail is an adjunct professor of English and Composition who lives in the D.C. area with her husband and six month old son. They love visiting Mount Vernon, eating peanut soup, watching their son explore the world, and contemplating the majesty of God in the small and surprising things. Abigail's previous work has appeared in The Summit Avenue Review.
From the Pigs: Mark 5
We eat on hillsides by the graves;
“Gerasenes” they call it who come with chains
For the one who mangles his own flesh
On sticks and stones, screaming for death.
Move up we then along the sloping green
Side of the steep place where the peace
Allows our stomaches to find acorns’ smell
Hiding softly in moist tender soil.
Once the naked man with patterns streaming
Red across his back and chest
Frightened a lamb from his mother’s
Careless, lowered head into our midst,
Where we herded to our teeming center
Its young bleatings lost in snorts for meat,
Knocked it to the earth with long snouts eager
For tender trampled flesh, still moving feet.
Near the tombs the mushrooms grow rich
Tops out of loamy earth fed from
Bodies packed together underneath.
We move as one to sniff damp fungus sinews
Coming from the freshest standing tomb.
The mangled man jumps over our heads screaming
Towards the group who listens to their teacher.
What do you want with me?
His voice shrieks in concert with itself
As though the wind has ripped a thousand holes
Through his vocal chords and carried
Despair from countless souls into his throat.
They turn but wait in silence for their teacher
Who stands with arms spread wide as though
To gather this scarred man into his fold
Or to command him with a ruler’s reach.
We are legion! Calls the wind from the dark
Abyss within this man. Their begging voices
Seem to bend away from the outstretched one
Standing like a reed upon the hill.
He bends to lift the creature, stiff with fear,
The first to touch him that we’ve ever seen, and looks
Into those lifeless eyes and sends light, palpable
And powerful, into the seething pools: Go.
Our bodies stiffen with dark fear
And suddenly we hate the light, even the
Grayest clouds won’t cover us,
We move as one in panic for the deepest
Darkest crevice we can find.
Straight off the mountain, sweet relief
Will come as soon as our bodies
Hit the bottom of the cliff away from light.
Copyright ©2008 by Abigail Knutson