Thursday, 12 April 2018


Options Have Changed
 
by Roberta Brown


No one can speak with you now
but your call is important to us.
Please listen carefully
as our options have changed.

This year, Passover begins on Good Friday.
The angel of death passes over the house
whose lintel is swiped with lambs’ blood:
but how many lambs and how much blood?
Your call is important to us.

For God so loved the world that--
Connecticut kindergartners who
would have been bar and bat mitzvahed this year,
or who missed their first communions at 7 or 8---
lie shot in the head, the chest, tender flesh shredded--
No one can speak with you now.

Why is this night different from all other nights?
Please listen carefully.

Elijah’s is not the only empty seat.
There are now many empty places.
Tables ringed with unoccupied chairs
forever untouched.
Oh, but your call is important to us.

He gave his only begotten son
(Pulse-Vegas-Parkland)
That whosoever believeth in him
Shall not perish--
but our options have changed.

Father, if You are willing, Take this cup from me . . .
Pour the red wine for Elijah.
Let it stand in his glass through dinner.
Let it stand in their glasses forever.

Emma, David, Cameron, and Delaney,
your call is important to us.
We heard you say Saturday
that our options have changed.


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Roberta Brown ã2018 All rights reserved. No use without written permission of the author.

Roberta Brown is an Assistant Professor of English Composition at Western New Mexico University in Silver City, New Mexico.