Burn, Burn, Burn

by Rosanne Osborne

What is this? Bush burning out of control? 
How could this be? Surely, God must be near. 
And he was! He spoke to Moses from that bush. 
Don’t come near, but remove your sandals, 
because you are standing on holy ground. 
I want you to free your people in Egypt. 

You couldn’t ask me to go to Egypt.
Pharaoh wouldn’t listen or give control
of the Hebrews to me. He hates the ground
I walk on. That other time is too near.
But God said, you’d be wearing sandals
that I give you, words spoken from this bush.
Parden?  Pharaoh has no care for this bush.
It has no meaning to him in Egypt.
He hears his own words, wears his own sandals.
In his mind, he is a God with control
over every person both far and near.
I don’t dare walk again on his ground.

But I Am had spoken, and the old ground
of his disgrace would become Moses’s bush.
First, he was told to draw his people near.
Then, he was to ask Pharaoh for Egypt
to loosen its hold, turn over control
of Hebrew fate. He shook in his sandals.

That he would get his use out of those sandals
was a certainty with the amount of ground 
to cover, challenging Pharaoh’s control. 
He would have to let the burn of that bush 
be dominant in his mind as Egypt 
experienced its full power draw near.

The Egyptians would loath having Moses near 
before all was said and done, his sandals
history as was his sojourn in Egypt.
They would be left to maintain their own ground 
and contemplate the fire in that strange bush 
and the certain power of its control.
And so to Egypt, Moses drew near,
a man in control of his own sandals,
walking the ground commanded by the bush.

An English professor, Methodist pastor, clarinetist, and poet, Rosanne Osborne holds the Ph.D. in English from the University of Alabama, the MFA from Spalding University, and the MRE and MDiv from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. She grew up in Missouri but has lived most of her adult life in Louisiana. Her work has appeared in Tar River Poetry, Alabama Review, Christian Century, Ruminate, Thema, Penwood Review, and The Village Pariah.

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