Sunday, February 3, 2019

Three stories

After Luke 10:25-37

A story told,
a story consisting of three stories
a trilogy of a kind
a trilogy consisting of seven stories, actually

the story of a man, robbed and beaten
(is it important that we never know who he was?)
the story of a priest, a cameo role
the story of a Levite, another cameo role
the story of a Samaritan
the story of an innkeeper
the story of a lawyer who first asked the question
the story of the storyteller who answered it

a collection of short stories
some no more than a line or two
packed into a handful of sentences

The question is asked as a test, a trap
the expert, who knows far more 
than this ignorant country rube ever could,
stands and asks his question, a smirk implied

The storyteller recognizes the question, the trap,
for what it is, and the smirk behind it,
and he answers a question with a question,
so how do you read the law? (implied: 
you’re the self-acknowledged expert, 
you’re the lawyer, how do you read it?)
and the expert, as they often did, as they often do, 
answered correctly. He knew his stuff.
He wasn’t a self-acknowledged expert
for no good reason

So the storyteller, seeing beneath
the smirk to the emptiness underneath,
says that’s right,
now go do it – do it and live,
and let me tell you a story.

Photograph by Fatima Fuentes via Unsplash. Used with permission.

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