Elijah in the Cave

Elijah runs away
to sit under a pine tree
in the wilderness
just outside of Beersheba.

He asks to die.
And doesn’t.

Instead, he sleeps.
An angel visits him,
while his sleep is busy
with everything that’s gone wrong,
the murderous Jezebel
not the least.

The angel says, “Start walking.”
And he does:
40 days toward Mount Horeb.

Elijah finds a cave,
and again asks to die.
And he doesn’t.

The angel says, “Listen.”
And he does.

Listens for God.

Listens in the wind.
But there is only the sound
of rocks being torn apart.

Listens in the earthquake,
but there is only the sound
of the earth
breaking apart where he stands.

Listens for it in the fire
that burns the last of everything,
but there is only the crackling
of burning pine.

And when everything is
torn up, blasted apart, and burnt to ash,
he hears it:
a still, small voice,
delicate as the dawn wind
among new leaves.

Copyright Kay Winter

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