The Road Taken Back

The Road Taken Back

I took a trail that split in two
Down at a crossroads, so to speak:
One had more green, and one, more blue,
Yet neither trail gave me a clue,
So I took one leading to a creek

And on the way I smelled the flowers,
Rubbed smooth petals between my thumb
And fingers, and could have stayed for hours
If sun-stopping had been in my power,
So for birds I left a trail of crumbs,

Then I returned and took the second trail,
Where bright rose petals blew in wind,
And back of each flower and without fail
Were weeds that covered scattered nails,
Warning not to venture too far in.

As I belonged on neither path
And always knew the long way back,
And though the earth is full and vast,
My heart of hearts did know the task:
To head for home, where nothing lacked.

Two forest trails went far away
From home and loves and street and fence,
And sorry that I could not stay
I took the road over rocks and clay
To home, which has made the difference.

~Day Williams

Baby Moses

(Exodus 2:1-10)
Baby Moses

A basket has
The boy enclosed;
Along the Nile
The baby goes.

~Day Williams



1 A son of Ahab, Joram, next become            

The king of Israel within Samaria.

This was in Jehoshaphat’s, Judah’s king’s,

Eighteenth year. Joram reigned twelve years, 2 and he

Did evil in God’s eyes, but not as his

Father and mother had done. He took out

The sacred stone of Baal his father made,

3 But still he clung to sins of Jeroboam,

Nebat’s son, which he had made Israel

Commit; he did not turn away from them.

4 Now Mesha king of Moab raised some sheep,

And he supplied the king of Israel

A hundred thousand lambs with wool out of

A hundred thousand rams, 5 but after Ahab

Died, Moab’s king rebelled against the king

Of Israel, 6 so at that time King Joram

Set forth out of Samaria and he

Did mobilize all Israel, 7 and he

Sent out this message to Jehoshaphat

The king of Judah: “Moab’s king has gone

Against me. Will you go with me to fight

With Moab?” “I will go with you,” he said.

“I am as you are, and my people as

            Your people, and my horses as your own.”

8 “And by what route shall we attack?” he asked.

He answered, “Through the Edom Desert,” 9 so

            The king of Israel went with Judah’s king

And Edom’s king. The army marched around

For seven days, and after that it had

            No extra water for themselves or for

Their animals. 10 The king of Israel

Exclaimed,  “What! Has the LORD called us

 three kings

            Together only to let Moab win?”

11 Jehoshaphat asked, “Isn’t there a prophet

Of God here, that we may inquire of God

            Through him?” An officer who served the king

Of Israel replied, “Elisha son

Of Shaphat’s here. He used to pour the water

            Onto Elijah’s hands.” 12 Jehoshaphat

Remarked, “The word of God is with him,” so

Jehoshaphat, the king of Israel

            And Edom’s king went down to him. 13 Elisha

Said to the king of Israel, “What do  

We have in common? Go to prophets of

Your father and the prophets of your mother.”

The king of Israel said, “No, for it

Was God who gathered us three kings together

            To hand us off to Moab.” 14 “Surely as

The LORD Almighty lives,” Elisha said,

“The God I serve, if I did not respect

            The presence of Jehoshaphat the king

Of Judah, I would not look at you nor

Nor would I even notice you; 15 but now bring

A harpist to me.” While the harpist played,

The hand of God came on Elisha 16 and

He said, “The LORD says: ‘Make this valley full

Of ditches,’ 17 for the LORD says this: ‘You will

See neither wind nor rain, and yet this valley

Will fill with water, and you, your cattle

            And all your other animals will drink,

18 Which is an easy thing in the LORD’s eyes;

He will hand Moab over to you, too.

            19 You’ll overthrow each fortressed city and

Each major town. You’ll cut down each good tree,

Stop up the springs, and ruin each good field

With stones.’” 20 Next morning, at about the time

For offering the sacrifice, there it

Was, water flowing from where Edom was!

            And so the land was filled with water. 21 Now

The Moabites had heard the kings had come

To fight against them; and so every man,

            Both young and old, who could bear arms

 was called

To arms and stationed on the border. 22 When

In early morning they got up, the sun

            Shone on the water. To the Moabites

Across the way, the water did appear

As red-like blood. 23 “That’s blood!” they said.

  “Those kings

Must have done battle and have slaughtered one

Another. To the plunder, Moab!” 24 But

When they came to the camp of Israel,

            The Israelites rose up and fought them ’til

They fled. The Israelites attacked the land

And killed the Moabites. 25 They wrecked

  the towns,

            And each man threw a stone on each good field

‘Til it was covered. They stopped up all springs

And cut down each good tree. Kir Hareseth

            Was left with stones in place, but men took slings,

Surrounded it, and they attacked it, too.

26 When Moab’s king saw how the battle went

            Against him, he took seven hundred swordsmen

With him to break through to the king of Edom,

But they were unsuccessful, 27 then he took

            His firstborn son, who was to take his place

As king, and offered him as sacrifice

Upon the city wall. The rage against

            Israel was intense; and they withdrew

And went back to their country in a stew.