Academic journal article The Journal of Baha'i Studies

Crossroads

Academic journal article The Journal of Baha'i Studies

Crossroads

Article excerpt

Wherefore she went forth out of the place where she was, and her two daughters-in-law with her; and they went on the way to return unto the land of Judah.

The Book of Ruth, 1:7

They have walked past a swaying

fig, huddled olive trees, past

straggling vines, all the stony

fields of Moab, and at last

draw near to the river's edge,

and a parting of the ways.

They pause and talk, three women

in the dappled light that plays

beneath sparse wind shaken leaves.

The mother speaks, and overhead

a falcon turns in the clouded sky.

One stands, wavers; with her tears shed

retreats. The falcon watches

her shawled figure dwindle, quiver

in the dusty haze, then fade from view

on the long road back. The river

deeps swirl green, the banks are steep,

a branch snaps, wind blown;

the other two wade arm in arm

athwart the stream, to unsought renown.

Held like them, in the falcon's gaze

long ages later, a young man

chooses a road, crosses a stream

before the plains of Mázindarán-

some of his friends balk, turn back. …

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