II. “The Woman” (Mark 5:21-34)

The crowd is throbbing
As my pain is

I have not come this far in years.
Twelve years.

I cannot help the tears
That begin to flow,
To flow as blood has
For twelve years.

I am so close.
But feel so far and fears
Overcome me
As the people overcrowd me.

They know.
They all know.
They must.

I see their glances:
Quick, horrified, averted.

I want to scream:
“Yes! See! See my shame!
Tell me, you proud, you healthy,
Is it my fault?”

But instead I fall.
To my knees I am bent
Beneath the weight of despair
I am kept,
Kneeling, keening.

But my eyes remain fixed
Before me, ahead.

I am fallen
And aching
Bleeding, but not yet dead.

My eyes catch
On a figure weaving
Through this throbbing, living sea.

As I rise to walk,
My vision fades,
As my strength rushes out of me.

I stretch my hand forward feebly.

A hem.
All I seek.
A hem to hem me behind and before
In healing safety.

My finger brushes the rough cloth
Not even for a breath,
But I mine returns.

Blood clots and sight clears.
Love and peace
Are all that flow
Not from, but over me.

I am again on my knees,
Not for lack of strength
But for fearful trembling.

But this fear is new,
As I am made new.

I cannot help
But want to sing:
“Oh, see! See! My shame undone!
See and know!
The bleeding, healing One!”


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