An Incurable Obstinance

comments 23
Christ / Poetry

When Jesus was young
they thought
he had a learning disability.
At the very least,
they reconciled themselves
to the fact that the boy possessed
an incurable obstinance.
At the dinner table, for instance,
despite the most pressing tutelage,
he refused to concede
that an apple and a pear
were innately different,
choosing instead
to refer to them both
giddily as
His mother
and his father
were also not
permitted to enjoy
the rights and privileges
of distinction,
as they were both obviously
He did, however,
during the early afternoon
while his mother was napping
and his father constructing
wooden dwellings,
like to wander
on his own
collecting fist-sized rocks
in a small woolen sack
strapped to his waist
like an absurd
volley of hatchling cannon balls.
He would carry them
through the field–
wobbling between their weight
and the awkward counter balance of
a suspicious looking diaper–
down the wagon-rutted lane,
under the lower rung of the fence,
and around back of the shed,
there to cup a hand
over his eyes to find out where
the neighbor’s horse was grazing.
Then he would walk over
to the animal,
and pat its leg,
and look up into its eyes,
and giggle,
and reach inside
his bag of rocks
to pull out an apple,
which he would hold up on his hand
like he was giving away his whole life,
or a mud pie,
to his very best friend.
Nobody ever saw him
do this but the happy horse,
who couldn’t be bothered
with the earnestness of language, by the way.
The rest of them were too busy
tending to all the important
distinctions on which
life as we know it


    • Thank you, Dennis! Much appreciated. I can picture your eyes, the eyes of a father, twinkling at the innocent beauty that snuck up on me and whispered in my ear…



  1. Très amusant Michel! – your words a veritable exemplar of transubstantiation, now becoming a fine wine. Let me see . . . [*swirls them once again around the head studiously*]. . . this must be an Haut-Brion ’66, correct?


  2. Yes, a delightful story. We have separated ourselves from Self, Creator, Nature and “Other” by elevating differences and distinctions into an art form. When God asked Adam to name the animals, I don’t think he had this result in mind. Time to see “flowers and stars” again.

    In Morocco the words “brother” and “sister” are used to address “anyone unknown to you.” I think this is going in the right direction. Thanks for the sweet story — it ranks as one of my all-time favorite Jesus stories, Alia


    • Thank you, Alia! I love it! One of your all-time favorite Jesus stories… I can’t tell if I think it really happened or not!

      When your heart is full of love, we sense a truth, don’t we? An approaching possibility… some threat of magic. Yes, time to see all of us together as flowers and stars… Beautifully said…


      Liked by 1 person

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