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The Calling • Death of a Promise

José M. Tirado: Freedom is now another takeaway item, grabbed as a side to an order barely thought through.
Death of a Promise

The Calling
(A very different Christmas story)

Freedom is now another takeaway item,
grabbed as a side to an order
barely thought through.
Like a phantom dish, hovering
around the kitchen, elusive, evasive
to the touch, but
greedily clung to when gotten.
Never the main dish,
it morphs into whatever we want:
salvation, security, a new story…

On the afternoon of the Calling,
they´d heard of a new baptism,
the brilliant cold waters
swelled with throngs, waiting for the dip.

Far away in a classy cement tomb,
declassified messages revealed a different interpretation:
they knew it was even more dangerous, magical, in fact,
held together by slender threads
of yearning and a need to breathe free.

Sensing the illegitimacy of this,
they manipulated the intelligence, &
sent a crazy set of three black-clad agents
to assess the situation
& terminate if necessary.

They witnessed a magical sight:
no celebrations
along the cobbled streets.

It was just a family needing a place to stay.

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Questions remained.
What if, they thought, inside the dankness
of that little room
a pestilence is born
And darkness reaches out?

Death of a Promise

The game is over.
Only dust exited, some say. Even the rock wasn´t so big.
The wind just carried away a puff of dirt Heavenwards
sprinkling the fields with old Earth ash.

Others still tried to build it up
but we were told to move along, and did.
“Nothing to see here”.
They were right.

A nothing that promises is still naught.
And a promise given and not kept sours
in the mouths of the spitters of curses and creeds alike.
“Deliver the goods!” they shout.
They have a point.

Barren trees cast spindly shadows across old olive fields.
The sun, unusually bright, oppressive as ever.
No one walks the roads.
A dog chews on broken lamb bones
in the thin shade between houses.

Later, comparing notes beside the fire
we wondered about the doves.
There had never been so many…

José M. Tirado