On the Doorstep

Issue 2

Consider the Saturday evangelist, his severe and joyful heart and the joy in the hearts of his wife, her friend, their children, brethren, how they hold their soft, well-thumbed little books full, full of hope; and oh, how they climbed the short steep slope to your front gate as if they hauled history, and how they passed by the bush in the garden, heavy with earlier rain. Consider how he stands before this house and before you on the moss dappled paving there, stalwart, holding back your noise, your differently spiritual taint, as a jeering Colosseum bears down on him and his brethren, his red-haired knuckles curling white about his black-bound book.

Consider the prisoner out on parole last week, his rattling bag of tat, floppy wire brushes guaranteed to fall apart half-way down the drain. “I’ll be honest,” he puffs then tells his tale of resurrection. Your daughter’s pudgy little arm tightens about your shoulder as he speaks because the spider’s web tattoo is flexing on his Adam’s apple. He’s been bitten, been in corners your kitchen clatter can’t imagine. Domestic music, the radio’s chant. This could be a parable, so you purchase a hand broom for well over the price of a hot meal and bed for the night.

Consider how they leave, how they all leave and how you turn from them and dip back inside your doorway.

Gavin Ritchie

Gavin Ritchie is a Scot and a Fifer, a lapsed guitar player, a Creative Writing graduate of Napier University, Edinburgh, and a teacher of English in the Forest of Dean. He has had poetry and flash fiction published with Youmanity, the Voices Along the Road anthology, Fractured West, among others.

Bealtaine Magazine

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