Friday, December 20, 2019

Manacles, chafed

After Galatians 4:4-7

The manacles, chafed
and chafing, dirtied and
stained his wrists, flakes
of metal coloring his skin
like rings, tightening. 
The manacles, reminding
him of his status, his bounds,
his binding, his place
without future. The manacles,
too, bind his ankles, the metal
tattooing its presence,
a sign that he was a prisoner,
a slave, born without prospect
of redemption.

Someone, a voice, called him
a son, the voice heard first
in his ears before his heart;
he was called son. Manacles
snapped open, the stains
washed off. And then he heard,
first in his ears before his heart,
the voice calling him
with a new name:

Photograph by Stephen Hickman via Unsplash. Used with permission.

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