I'm running

through the fields

of wheat and barley

up to my waist

in stiff dry gold

tripping and sniffing

the dusty, warm

old smell

the sun

is in my nose

and my feet feel

the delightful rough

of the ploughed over

perfect dirt

then I trip

and fall headlong

into the stalks of grain

as my face falls through

I put out my hands

I'm not hurt

and wonder why

I lie so still

then I look at my right hand

it holds a stone

that seems to fit well

it's made for my hand

heft heavy


with a sharp, raked edge

and a point

I could slice open

a goat

or even a mountain lion

if I could get past

its flashing paws

and reach its abdomen

I think

I could even slice open


or Issachar

it's then

that I notice the marks

on the stone

faint, brown

from old blood


my forehead itches

in seven places

and I feel hot all over

and bad

this stone is evil

I throw it

hard away far out over

the ripe heads of grain

and cry aloud

in anger and fear

that I

had come so close

to thoughts of murder

and revenge

for all the torment

my brothers

pour on me

just because

I'm my father's


the first son

of his favorite wife

his darling Rachel

for whom he worked

seven long years

and thought them nothing

to gain her

whom he had loved

since the moment

they met

at the well

so long ago