Everybody Loves a Story

by Rosanne Osborne

God created humans with an understanding 
of symbolism, so he gave Moses 
images to use to persuade Pharaoh. 
As a hedge against the faltering speech 
of Moses, he sent Aaron as mouthpiece 
and a deadly threat to the royal son. 

Moses was trained as a princely son
with a sense of cultural understanding.
He had never needed any mouthpiece,
but a tragic mistake had left Moses
on the wrong side of expected courtly speech,
fatal loss of the favor of Pharaoh.

Perhaps, he had always been Pharaoh’s
less than true, doubtful, adopted grandson,
never speaking authentically the speech
learned from the daughter’s understanding,
In fact, Pharaoh might not have known Moses
existed, one of many courtly mouths.

How could a man of state know each mouthpiece
that roamed the halls, domain of Pharaoh?
A shadow of time rendered Moses
the phantom inheritance of the son 
saved through uncanny misunderstanding,
a story that transcended usual speech.
“Throw that staff on the ground.” God’s speech
was clear. God had no need for a mouthpiece.
Grabbing that snake increased understanding
in Moses of the ways that the Pharaoh
would interpret this act by Egypt’s Son,
a run-of-the mill sorcerer Moses.

God upped the ante when he told Moses
to reach inside his coat, hand more than speech,
it became the palm of a leprous son.
Moses knew miracles to be his mouthpiece,
a message loud and clear to the Pharaoh.
God intended to increase understanding.

What a story this son named Moses
brought to our understanding of the speech
of God’s holy mouthpiece to the Pharaoh!

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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