The Master Has Need of This One

Back to Issue #3

by Steve Bell

“The Master Has Need of This One,” read by Steve Bell.

Walking back to the stable
Jack snorts and shakes off his weariness
As his mate munches a mouthful, some straw
Getting stuck in her teeth.

“How was your day, dear one?”
Asked Jenny.

“The load was heavy
Plodding, pulling, pulling,”
Replied Jack.
“I’m tired.
I’m hungry.
I’m thirsty.

“And how was your day, dear one?”
Asked Jack.

“Oh my, the girls and I had such fun!”
Replied Jenny.
“Peeking in windows
Wandering about town
Savoring leaves and fruit
Offered with laughter by
Mischievous children.

“Eat and drink, dear one.
The trough is full.
Then we can read the Stories,”
Said Jenny.

Jack nods, clip-clopping very slow
to the dinner table.

“Ah, the Stories!
The seafaring couples aboard the Ark,
And the beast who spoke aloud, a jackass
who rebuked the wayward prophet—
A story our community holds dear.”

And then
Two men approached
One with a rope.
“The Master has need of this one,”
Spoke one to the other.

“Where are you going, dear one?”
Asked Jenny.

“I cannot say, but I’m guessing somewhere nearby,”
Said Jack.
“Here in Jerusalem, a parade of some sort.
Be back soon.”
Said Jack, rope tied, cinched tight
Around his neck.

“Why not a horse for the rider?”
Asked Jenny.

“God only knows,”
Replied the donkey
Clip-clopping away
As the rocks on the roadside
Began to sing.


About the Writer

Steve Bell lives in Colorado with his wife Gina. He is a poet who writes for both children and adults, and works at an elementary school in special education. His first collection, Remarkable Things: Poems of Revelation and Comfort includes retellings of familiar Bible stories with a modern twist.


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Artwork: “Donkey” by Veronica McDonald, 2020.

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