VIII. The Demon-Possessed Boy (9:14-29)

Horrors.
There is no other word
For the things I have seen,
And sat helplessly by—
Useless.

My own son, ripped from my arms
By a force I could not fight.

But I am his father!
Guilt stabs at me like a knife,
But how can I defend him when
The enemy, the invader
Makes war from within?

My own flesh and blood,
My beloved, my son,
Cast into the flames
I was too slow to quench—
A ghastly self-sacrifice
To a living, invisible vice.

And then my boy, plunged into the water
I kept to put out the fire.

I am but a man,
And know I am but dust.
But the love of father says
I must, I must—
But how could I conquer this spirit
When my own is worn and weary?

Rage red as blood!
Why do you come,
you sensational brood!
Are you seeking a spectacle?
You do not want to see
What daily seeks,
Through my son,
To destroy me!

This demon of doubt
Grapples for my soul
As the other strangles my son’s life
With his own precious fingers,
Built strong just like mine.

His demon casts him down,
Frothing, convulsing.

Mine pulls me too,
But before it succeeds,
I drop to my knees in desperation
At your feet.

Before the growing crowd,
Before you, my Lord,
I fall before I am felled.

“I believe, but— Oh!
Help my unbelief!”

Immediately,
Stillness falls.

Has death come?
Merciful relief?
Dare I hope for better?
Oh, help my unbelief!

Immediately,
Quiet reigns
Where screams rang.

A new peace floods my soul,
Quelling flaming fear
As two evils are expelled,
Far, far from here.

Immediately,
Your hand raises him.
The Son returns my son
Back to the arms
From which he was torn.

And in that moment,
Two faiths are born
Immediately.

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