They seldom ask why the men were there. As they slipped down the wall, I thought: Just as it's always been, the men sliding away to their homes, the shame slipping off their well-oiled skin. Nothing touched them. They would take their promised land just like they always had; mine would be the leftovers, mine the scarlet thread left dangling mid-air.
Only, as the walls shook like a pounding heart and amidst this trumpeting change of the guards I caught my breath and whispered, We're done for, I found my legs still standing, my blood still pounding, my family still about me, though all Jericho fell in a mighty gasp,
and weak though a scarlet thread was in such a blast, it held me, bound me, and in that impossible instant I saw, while stone crumpled to sand to rubble to dust, I saw
multitudes here, beyond my sight, my time, spread like a desert, like sand, running, crawling, limping, reaching grabbing like I grabbed, clutching like I clutched, at this scarlet grace dangling its chance at life.
Now I live among them, have learnt their wild, sea-parting stories, have seen their virtues, their shames, learnt the way grace drops like rain, washing away, never denying, shame. The scarlet hangs still, where I first placed it. Feeble and flimsy the way to life often is, scarlet the blood of mercy coursing through our feeble veins.