Barry L. Casey
He was the strong, the silent one,
carrying no dry cliches
about aloneness as manliness.
The pain was a shard of ice in his heart;
it stilled his voice and dropped his gaze.
Quietly, he made his decision.
This girl: he would send her back home
without touching her. Save her from the
whispered looks, corrosive laughter — or worse.
Then came the dreams … the angel’s words …
he could recall them all as if etched in fire:
“Do not be afraid to take her as your wife …”
He loved her in his silence; she was quick
and unafraid. He matched her confidence
with trust. They would together find their way.
Four dreams defined his life:
Take her to wife, take them to Egypt,
return to Judea, settle in Nazareth.
Then he exits stage left and we are left
to see him, a silent man without pretense,
stolid and strong behind his Mary.
Barry Casey is the author of Wandering, Not Lost, a collection of essays on faith, doubt, and mystery, published by Wipf and Stock (2019). His recent work has appeared in Adventist Society for the Arts, Brevity, Faculty Focus, Detroit Lit Mag, Lighthouse Weekly, Mountain Views, Patheos, Sad Girls Club, Spectrum Magazine, The Dewdrop, and The Purpled Nail. He holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy of Religion from Claremont Graduate University. He writes from Burtonsville, Maryland.