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Zaccheus

Christopher Jane Corkery


                                                                              Luke 19:1-10


No pretense, no embarrassment at being
Late, short, a usurer perhaps.
No, no. So it’s up he goes, having heard,
Late, the news that man has come to town.
And his sycamore perch confirms that it is true,
The thing he’d heard that had made him run,
Shove, scrambling in his loosest pair of sandals
(for a plump man this is hard), then propel himself
up, up, up, to a place where vision is clear.

The man preaches (and part of it, of course,
is wanting to be in on it; Z
has always rushed, since he began to walk,
always rushed to know what everyone
is doing in the world).

                                     Yet now Z knows,
too quickly, why he feels so sad, seeing
the man, hearing him speak. But he snorts back
tears, and plunges down the tree more lively,
pushing as he must, to catch the man,
bring him to his house (he thinks this his idea)—

“For rest, Sir, for supper; you need to rest, Sir,
Surely”—this one who has already ruined
the life Z knew and loved, this one, who,
knowing Z would come, but not what form
he’d take, is (a rare thing) laughing.

 
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