Eschatology: a branch of theology concerned with the final events
in the history of the world or of humankind.
What else are they waiting for, those ten
watchful virgins? The bridegroom’s been
promised, the nuptials and the feast
arranged. And the ones they send away
to buy oil from merchants in the town?
What becomes of them? Night has fallen,
the year bent hard toward solstice.
In the overhead branches, wind moves
like knives, scoring each surface met.
In the distance, those windows hung
with curtains and ablaze with light—
Why can’t I believe all that were
turned away have been unfaithful,
or merely unprepared? Of them, who
sleeps in abandoned sheds or among
unpolished stones in the field,
gathering scraps and twigs for
kindling? I’ve seen their limbs
offered up to the cold in sleep,
as the bus hurtled along the edge
of highway. At daybreak, a bird
dares to disrupt the silence.
Only the sun warming the peaked roofs
knows how one side begins to steam
while the other remains in shadow.
—Luisa A. Igloria
11 06 2011
In response to an entry from The Morning Porch.