He moved to Alabama with his wife and kids.
He’d heard there were problems, but his wife
joined Teach for America that spring and he supported
her desire to make a difference. South or not,
it was still America. But when the church changed
its sign to, “THEY FALSELY ACCUSED JESUS,
TOO, VOTE ROY MOORE” he realized he might have
been wrong. He could take a train out of town,
but his children, his nice neighbors, his loans—They lived
here now. Jesus was dead, too, but that was old news.
When the polls opened, he begged his neighbors, “Let us all go,
so we might die with him.” Jesus couldn’t come back
again, but they were still alive. They could still show.
He himself arrived at the polls a little late, anxious
about morning traffic. “Excuse me,” he said
in his thick Aramaic-accented English, “I’m here
to hand out the ‘I voted’ stickers.” The other workers
raised eyebrows. Was it his skin color, his lack
of Southern drawl or his meaningless job? He was unsure,
but they directed him to his seat at the table.
It reminded him of the last supper. Instead of Jesus
walking in, Roy Moore rode in on a horse. “I think
it’s a good thing to do,” Moore told CNN. “I won
the last time I rode in on a horse.” Thomas was a nail
-biter and he shredded the tips with his teeth
waiting for the close and the count. The relief
came quickly that night to all the children. The next day,
he met Doug Jones and smiled, “Friend, be not afraid
of thy office. Godspeed, god-fear, good luck to you,
good hope for you, good hope for us, good hope.”
Poet’s Note: Thomas was a disciple of Jesus in the Bible. He was known for his skepticism. Because of the recent conflation of Christianity and the Republican Party, I thought it would be interesting to imagine a biblical character in a modern context and their reaction to the American political climate today. Some parts of Thomas’ quotes are from sections of the Bible.
5 questions of Evangelicals after Roy Moore’s Defeat [One News Now]
Chag Sameach, Y’all [Poets Reading the News]
Crystal Stone is a first-year MFA student at Iowa State University. Her work has previously appeared in The Badlands Review, The Jet Fuel Review, Green Blotter, North Central Review, Southword Journal Online and Dylan Days.
Photo by Keith Ivey.