: Simeon Prophet and Johanna :
an excerpt by Margaret Benbow
The painting was no good, and Simeon didn’t know why. It had the best of all subjects, his wife Georgie. It had a fine title, Unique Is My Dove. He’d worked hard, straight through three days and three nights. By the end of the third night he could barely see. On the back of the canvas he wrote in clumsy letters, All my being is aglow, waiting for one who does not come. Georgie had been dead and buried for four months.
It made sense to him that night to slash his left palm and write these words in his blood. Then he fell asleep as though he’d been hit on the back of the head with a shovel.
When he finally woke up, late in the afternoon of the next day, he was frightened to see what he’d done. He knew his mind didn’t always work quite right since Georgie died, but never before had he written in blood. Save me Jesus. He promised himself he wouldn’t do it again, no matter what.