A long line of pilgrims makes its way
toward the gathering place,
rich and poor, young and old, many kinds.
At the rear, a wounded one—
face ruined, legs mangled,
deeply disfigured— comes alone,
whom no one pities, no one guides.
They fill the hall,
the experts and the initiated,
the seekers and the curious,
until not a seat is left.
Finally the officials and the powerful
come and take their places at the front.
There is no more room.
Then the wounded one,
quiet, joyful, bringing up the rear,
enters and comes to the front
and begins to speak
to all who would learn from their master.
May 6, 2021