“Only Darkness and Despair”

Today’s poem was written last year to the prompt “What does the future hold?” Just one note: I’ve been thinking more imaginatively about the individual disciples recently. It strikes me as fascinating that Matthew is the only Gospel that records Judas’s death (the other spot is at the beginning of the book of Acts). My own pet theory is that Matthew, former tax collector that he was, probably had the most empathy for Judas and the lure of money.

Anyway, happy Easter. His heart beats.

“Only Darkness and Despair”

Originally written April 2, 2021

That Sabbath, slowly, one-by-one they came
And gathered back there in the upper room—
Eleven men, their faces filled with shame
And suffering—all silent as a tomb.
First, Peter spoke. “That Judas—where is he?
I’ll show him how a true man treats his friend.”
Matthew spoke up. “He’s hanging from a tree.”
He swallowed hard. “It was a bitter end.”
“A bitter end to everything,” John said.
“To Judas, dying in a bloody field,
And to our master. I saw how he bled.
Can such bad wounds—can death—ever be healed?”
In sorrow and despair they shook their heads,
Not knowing what a fresh-filled grave could yield.

Photo by Egor Myznik on Unsplash