The Leper

Gregory Brooks


Note: The Dialogue Foundation provides the web format of article as a courtesy. Please note that there may be unintentional differences from the printed version. For citational and biographical purposes, please use the printed version or the PDFs provided online and on JSTOR.

An armadillo dug up the grass
in my parents’ yard last year—

the kind that bounce buckshot
off their back and carry leprosy.

If only I could do the same:
materialize armor, lumber along.

I could curl up while testimonies
pelt my spine on Sunday,

doubts doubting doubt.
Everything in a simmer

until I find my niche at church.
Someplace to read history and hide.

Healing happens in the dark
for those of us who burrow.