Today's poem is by Monica Raymond

In Cana

The Lebanese spelled it with a q, without the u.
Qana. That town where John said Jesus at a wedding
turned water into wine. The other gospels missed it.
They caught other miracles, but they missed that first miracle.
The guest said "You're not like the others, who just serve good
wine till we're drunk." Later Jesus said "I bring not peace but the sword."

But in that first miracle, there was nothing of sword.
It's important you understand this, you
apocalyptic idiots, Muslim, Christian, and Jew. A good
party, that was all— people dancing those wedding
dances, lifting a chair, like they still do, a miracle
they can get it up there without dropping it,

or, if they do drop it, without killing whoever's in it.
But it's family they love there, so if they do a sword
dance, it's just clacking them together like the Morris men, minor miracle
of coordination. At the Revels, they clacked so hard—you
should have seen!—they broke the blade. At a wedding,
that would probably be bad luck. It might be good

to leave the swords out of it for good.
That's a disarmament proposal, what do you think of it?
What if we acted as if the whole world were a wedding
with good wine till the end? What if you left your sword
at the door and never retrieved it? And you
just kept dancing and drinking all night, like that first miracle

and the wine never got less good—that would be a miracle.
You know I'm not just talking about the wine being good.
I'm writing a little parable or a sermon for you.
Yes, a dead prophet is not the only one who can do it.
I'm saying we've seen what comes of bringing the sword.
Now let's bring a covered dish, and get back to the wedding.

I like to think that maybe it's a wedding
of people from different sides, ordinary miracle—
two black-browed lovers, aflame like flowering swords.
Gladiola. Bird of paradise. What looks like a knife-edge sheathe till it unfurls in good
blossom. The angels each holding a stem of it
at the door of the fiery world, and they beckon to you.

They hold the flaming sword to protect the wedding,
and they want to include you in this miracle.
Not blood, but good wine that pours. Let us dream of it.

Copyright © 2007 Monica Raymond All rights reserved
from Colorado Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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