Where you stumble and fall, there you will find gold.
--Joseph Campbell

Leaving the prayer service, two kippot-clad fathers
walk out of a temple into the pandemonium of a ferocious
Nor’easter battering the area, ambling this way and that,
dodging danger at every turn.

Gesticulating with lily-white hands they passionately
debate, jabbing fingers, and clapping, unraveling
Talmudic interpretations of unknowable intentions of divine
interventions: Why do bad things happen to good people?

Facing a raging windstorm and a drenching downpour
they slosh through a maelstrom, an insane tambourine of rain
under a sky glowing with sparks from reptilian wires underfoot.
Blaring sirens of careening ambulances drown out their shrill voices.

Almost home, each is determined to argue one last point,
heedless of a thunderous crack of a canker-ridden walnut tree,
snapping off at its base, crashing down on top of them
with a resounding thud like an elephant’s fall.

The Rabbi was quick to proclaim: “We cannot do, decide, think,
talk about anything until their bodies are discharged.” Father is gone,
gone for good. Grief-stricken eyes of dazed wives fail to see how
it could have been otherwise.

Milton P. Ehrlich