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Lazarus, After

written by: Doug Stanfield (Hemmingplay)

@hemmingplay

 

Lazarus never smiled
after he rose from the dead.
For 30 years, until he died again,
he was haunted by the
unredeemed souls he saw
in the four days he
journeyed in the afterlife.

Laughter died stillborn in his chest.
That was what he told neighbors—
when he talked about it.
But, it was hard to speak, and
had been since that day.
His throat was always dusty
and his tongue thick.

He was locally famous, though,
and had to play the part
the disciples designed for him.
“Come, Lazarus, tell the people
what happened to you!”
Peter would say.
John would just shake his head
and turn away in pity as
Lazarus forced words
of testimony past
the dust of the tomb
in his throat.

After all, the redeemer of
the world had made him
the only other man,
beside himself, to come back
through the veil. That
came with certain obligations,
they reminded him.
Nothing’s as convincing as an eyewitness.

He was always bone cold, though,
and sat in the sun for hours.
He bruised easily, and cuts wouldn’t heal
And there were the
aches and pains
from lying on a stone
slab, slowly decaying, for
four days. The crucifixion
came too soon, and
these complaints never
could be addressed.

30 years he lived
before dying again.
Dreading the meeting of those
souls again, explaining
he couldn’t help. That the
one who could had
gone on ahead to the
big time, leaving poor
Lazarus behind to play a part
and to sit in the sun.

He forgave that, though.
A miracle is a miracle.
What else could he do?
He only wished his friend had
left behind a few more instructions
for what he was supposed to do ....after.

Doug Stanfield (Hemmingplay)

Doug Stanfield (Hemmingplay)

OCTOBER 2016 / JULY 2019 AUTHOR OF THE MONTH at Spillwords.com
“Hemmingplay,” is the pen name of Doug Stanfield, who grew up on a family farm in western Ohio, went with his parents for two years in Karachi, Pakistan, in high school and had lived, until recently, in Bellefonte, PA with his late wife, Wilda and their two sons, Ben and John. Doug was a writer, editor and director of internet communications at Penn State for 26 years. He has had a few disreputable occupations, including newspaper reporter and editor, and public relations flak, but is trying to make amends for his sins by writing poetry and fiction.
When his sons were safely off making their own mistakes, he turned on the computer one day, stared at the screen for what seemed a long time, and began to learn the craft anew at age 67.
Doug has published three books so far: "Mermaid Sisters: First Dive", a children's book on iTunes/iBook; "I Came From A Place of Fireflies" published as a paperback and Kindle on Amazon, and a new book of poetry, "Snowflakes & Ashes: Meditations on the Temporary”, available as both an ebook and as a paperback. (Gatekeeper Press) on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Ingram and Baker & Taylor, and a few others.)
Doug Stanfield (Hemmingplay)

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