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Beginning
Steve Werkmeister (bio)

In the beginning the Word already was.

Pops just sat in the corner when the Roman guy
came by. The Roman guy said he’d already sold
the story; I just needed to write it.You have
the ending, kid
, he said.You just need to bang
out a beginning.
The Roman guy thought it could
be turned into a play. The Roman guy thought
he could get an imperial sponsor. The Roman
guy was going to talk to artisans—a whole product
line, he was thinking. Pops poured himself another cup.

We used to joke that Pops was tied up in nots.
The locusts not eaten, the hairshirts not worn,
the gospels not written. Pops said he was close
enough to touch John. Pops said that if he would
have been baptized, he never would have left
his side. But when Pops took one last look at Mom,
he waded back to the river’s edge. In the dust
of home, they made a family and tended flock.

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