Reflections on the Painting, Flight, by Carl Spitzweg
So many murdered children behind him,
Joseph leads the donkey, step by step,
laden with Mary and her baby Jesus
through a canyon that leads to Egypt,
dark and close despite the blue sky,
perfect for robbers to lie in wait,
or worse yet Herod’s operatives.
It must have crossed his mind
that he was too old for frantic escapes,
that he might have to live out his days
in Egypt, far from his home,
and even if he dared to return,
he would have to keep a low profile,
pay someone off, change his identity.
In any case, his life was behind him.
The future belonged to the child—
who might sit on his lap, stroked
by calloused hands, his face pressed
to a beard and worried breathing--
but soon returned to the dark
haven of the mother’s breast.
Mark Trechock has been writing and submitting poems since 1974. He has lived in Dickinson, North Dakota since 1993, and retired in 2012 from the grassroots community organizing project, Dakota Resource Council. After a 20-year hiatus in writing for publication, Trechock resumed submitting his work last year. Since then, he has placed more than 30 poems in a variety of magazines, includingCanary, Limestone, Wilderness House Literary Review, Badlands Literary Journal, El Portal, and Off the Coast. Three of his poems appeared in the book Fracture, a multi-author book on the impact of hydraulic fracturing in the oil and gas industry.
The Ekphrastic Review
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