Sumo Bout with Doubt

by Jeral Williams

Cancer comes quietly, 
a daughter dies loudly,
undeniable realities raising doubt.

After numerous skirmishes,
the paramount battle is fought,
triggered by fear and loss.

A Sumo bout in the dohyo of my mind,
Rikishi of belief battles Rikishi of disbelief.
Bow, take stances, collide.

A colossal confrontation,
thundering power,
tsunamis on brain’s beaches.

Synaptic fireworks explode as the Fourth,
dendrites rattle as San Andreas’ quakes,
aftershock after aftershock after aftershock.

Past the Forbidden Wall
in deep pits, dark crevices,
facing Thomas' doubt.

Denial beckons beyond Peter, 
not once or twice or thrice,
but forever and constant.
Battling neither a Christmas nor an Easter nod,
not an emotional altar call,
but belief woven in fiber.

Peter denied as Jesus died,
later Thomas doubted,
fear of death drove life.

Both rose from fright and doubt
to good news, even martyr’s deaths;
disciples must have seen something.

Final bow,
Shiroboshi belief and Yokozuna,
Kuroboshi disbelief

Glossary
Sumo: form of Japanese wrestling
Dohyo: wrestling circle within which a match occurs
Rikishi: wrestler
Shiroboshi: winner
Yokozuna: grand champion
Kuroboshi: loser


Jeral Williams is a poet living in Mobile, Alabama. He is a retired professor whose Christian journey has been long and winding. He has published “Being a Proverbial Student,” a reflection on the need for Christian students to pursue knowledge, understanding and wisdom.

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