Zechariah’s Liberation

December 2, 2009


See Luke 1:5-22

When did the cynic’s shroud enfold on me
and dim my eyes of all their glow?
I’ve drawn the lucky lot –
the flame should flare again –
but dullness presses on my gaze.
I mumble prayers for mumbling’s sake
within the fragrant incense cloud,
invoking ancient Hebrew names
in words entombed within my curse.

But then the darkness roars with light,
the haze of incense leaps and jolts
and cracks with snaps and sparks.
A cosmic gate has swung ajar –
a veil has thinned and dropped –
and there the giant creature looms,
wrapped in a sun-like blaze.

I listen to its booming voice
bring news of long-lost prayers:
my wife’s old womb has come to life
and barely holds our heir.
And then I hear of prophet paths,
Elijah’s touch and seer’s eyes
and hope abandoned now fulfilled.

And yet the curse is now my home;
the fog of doubt enshrouds me still.
I dare not hope for what I’ve dreamed:
a baby’s cry, the laughter of a child.
My eyes can only shun the gleam.

The angel flares a frown.
The heat of heaven grips my throat;
I mouth my prayers in fear of wrath
and shiver when my voice is mute.
The angel tells me I won’t speak
until the time has come
and I feel my curse blow through my bones.

But then a shift:
I see the angel smile.

My soul takes flight;
the incense moves with life.
I hear a baby’s cry and laughter from my child.
The angel’s touch sweeps through my soul
and hope invades my bones.
My muteness tokens more than wrath:
the cynic’s shroud is torn to shreds
and light embeds my gaze.

About Charles Redfern

Charles Redfern is a writer, activist, and clergyman living in Connecticut with his wife and family. He's currently writing two books, with more in his head.

View all posts by Charles Redfern


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