Sometimes We Must be Swallowed – a poem by Alfred Fournier

Sometimes We Must be Swallowed

“I will not be swallowed,”
I believe were Jonah’s exact words 
before the gaping fish maw folded darkness 
like a tomb shroud around him. 

He was stubborn, like his God, clinging 
to a skeletal certainty he’d hammered 
into place around him, calling it home. 
His faith in clockwork sun so fast, 
only darkness could save him. 

He brooded in that echoey ribbed cathedral 
until a storm savaged the sea. He marveled 
to feel the hurtling vessel of the fish slacken 
on the untold will of the waves.			

Wrenching fear like a dagger 
from his stone of his heart, 
he laughed—to his surprise—
and stood amid the pitching waves
and cried the song of all his joy to God. 

Alfred Fournier is a writer and community volunteer living in Phoenix, Arizona. His poems have appeared in Plainsongs, The Main Street Rag, Third Wednesday, Kind Writers, Ocotillo Review and elsewhere.

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