The Fleeing Evangelist (For the Feast of Saint Mark)

If he truly was the young man
who fled naked when they seized him
by his linen garment while following the one
captured in the garden,
do we then, perhaps, see in this
a truth that fits the shy evangelist well?
Does it not match well one whose face
evades us, who flees when we hold him?
Churches in Egypt stand in his stead,
traditions flow from him like the train of his cloak,
yet in the certainty of history he drops them,
sheds them and flees,
leaving us looking instead, through the crystal clarity
of his words at the one who stood in the wilderness,
who cleared the temple and drove out the spirits,
who declared Himself the promised one
and rose again to prove it. Look at him!
If this Mark truly was the one who let down Paul
yet raised up churches where great libraries fell
and died when his enemies finally caught him,
it seems fitting that we do not know
for sure about him, dressed only in linen,
and fleeing from us lest we hold onto him
and hold not the Word who he stood to proclaim.

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