The National Catholic Review
Jan Steen (1676)

Indifferent to miracles
the crowd never stopping to notice
harried servers schlepping replenished jars
Over here we need wine over here
this thirsty crowd’s getting louder —
here’s another toast —
all upheld cups get topped off
the meaty cook in his apron
a cloth for handling hot platters
thrown over his right shoulder
stands by the head table describing
to the wedding party and rabbi
the feast about to be served
the young boy rolling an empty barrel
back to the cellar
dogs, children, townsfolk,
the couple in the balcony arguing,
the crone reeking of body odor
they say her breath will sour milk
As for the guests in the far corner
those standing about that slim young man
with hands clasped in front
they notice the aura of light

John Norton's work has appeared in New American Writing. His book of prose poems and sketches, The Light at the End of the Bog, won an American Book Award. ("The Marriage at Cana" is one exhibit at Norton Simon Museum, Pasaden

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