Elisha

I ate no breakfast on the day he left.
Spent the day in prayer
meditation;
I spoke to friends and fellow disciples
I busied about the house
—just thinking,
that today would be our last.

He glanced at me several times
by the table
eating his usual:
locust berries and bread, made by me.
As I fidgeted with my fingers,
tracing circles over the grooves of my bones
and counted the stitching of my cloak,
he smirked and made an absent comment about the weather.

Finally we got up to leave
I said no words, trailing behind him
like a forlorn, homeless dog
and thought about
how it would end
what I would say
what he would do
how things were going to turn out afterwards.

His last miracle, the Jordan.
The parting of the waters
mirrored the pair of streams that framed my face—
he pretended not to see.
But he smirked again,
poised his head and sighed
bracingly. Bracingly.

Did he have to go? I asked
In answer, he leaned forward,
pressed his lips against my forehead
and drew back to look at me.
“My friend,” he said,
“I’m moving on. My work is over; yours has begun.”

He was gone
in a tornado of molten spirit
the flames that he had once called to do his bidding
were now taking him home.
There were so many things we didn’t do,
questions I hadn’t asked
unsaid thank-yous,
forgotten laughs
jokes and tears and memories.

He was gone.
And I was left
with the task
of continuing his work.

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