Photo: K. Dagen

Photo: K. Dagen

“the world is so dark
and we need you again.”
thought john the baptist,
breathing out, breathing in
the desert air, nestled deep in camel hair,
lighting up the way before him;
the paths left behind a little more straight
a little more smooth, and a little less dim.

alone in the night,
how did he feel?
the first of the prophets
after four hundred years
of silence and waiting,
darkness and hope and anticipating?

himself a light
proclaiming the light,
that had already been born that night
some thirty years before, not long behind him,
both sent by the wind and spirit-minded.

before you come again, i wonder
will there be another one that thunders
in the spirit of elijah
to ready us and steady us
and light up this crooked world before us?

but that spirit’s been here
for two thousand years
destroying hard hearts and drying up tears
lighting up cities, illuminating fears,
giving us breath and opening our ears,
until that one day, one final collision,
before this valley of the shadow of death
becomes the everlasting bright-lit valley of vision.