On Zacharias Coming Out of the Temple

Kevin Rulo

Long they had been waiting,
So long had he been in.
Too long, they turned themselves inward.
Someone spat. Another scuffed his sandal
On the thick rock-gravel which ran
Along the grass near the road, groping
About his mind for something smart and small
Which he had lost but hoped one day to find.
So what they began solemn became less than,
Until they saw, up on the hillside,
His swarthy figure swerve into the
Firelight of the temple’s doorway
And swoop down to them, limbs aloud
With wonder, eyes thundering gospel
Through them, though his lips beat
And strummed to no effect, save that
Of the awe of his audience.
He sang them the dumbest song
They had never heard,
And it was the wisest thing
They had ever known.
And they danced to it—
At a stand-still.

Kevin Rulo is a doctoral student studying literature at the Catholic University of America, where he also teaches Rhetoric and Composition.