Seven rocks in the garden

I was much moved by this piece by John Etheridge. Before I read it I thought it was about current Baha’i prisoners – they and their families are suffering so badly – for teaching that God His Messengers and humanity are One. It is time Iran stopped persecuting minority religious groups.

the Book of Pain

I arranged in the garden, one rock each for the Seven of Tehran.
The first, the most beloved, rained down God’s mercy and
cooled the fired-up throng;
the second, clasping his brother’s corpse to his heart
rooted out their tongues with a poem;
the third in thanks shared sweets with his killer,
while the fourth scorned a rescue that bore the veils of lust and power.
The rest vied for the right to prepare the way, the one each for the other,
and so they died as they lived—united—chimed by a single blow.

But in truth I lied to you,
it was eight rocks I arranged in the garden.
The last was a small, sharp-edged stone,
barbed on the top, cold to the touch
and set deep dark down in the loam.
I dig it up occasionally
to see if it is still there. It always is,
ground no smoother by its journey
but…

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