The Epiphany

Again the wife was told that he was working late.
In truth his night was spent in heavy drinking and
in whoring, ending at the beach passed out in the sand.
Again the man had acted as a hopeless reprobate.

Naked, he awakens
just before the dawn.
As he lies prone in the sand,
suddenly on the far horizon
a ray of sunlight pierces
the blackness of the night.

As he squints at the light,
the dawn sky spreads
into a spectacular display
of pinks, reds, oranges,
and glorious yellows.

The grandeur of this new day,
the vastness of ocean before him,
and his still drunken state
move him to feel awed,
then suddenly ashamed and dirty,
as he lies an incorrigible sinner
in the very presence of God.

He walks into the warm water.
Standing chest-deep
in the breaking waves,
he raises his arms and shouts,
“Lord, strike me dead if I
am not a changed man,
for I have seen the light!”

His body washes up on the shore later that same day.
“Some shark sure surprised him. Wonder why he was
swimming here anyway?” the coroner was heard to say.

Harry Edward Gilleland      03.23.04