Malchus

Bull at a gate in the garden, Peter’s out
With a stubby blade, and slashes in the dark
At the nearest of the looming figures—a lout,
And a slave with it, obedient to the bark

Of the officer bloke, to whom he’s a waste of space,
Named though he is for a king. And now it’s first
Blood to the partisans of peace in the race
To the hooked wood, the dangling and the thirst.

The stuff that crusted where the severed ear
Had been returned stayed with him through the night
And half of bloody Friday. He could hear
As well as ever, though he made a sight

For his mates to see while he talked about the stroke
And how the man commanded when he spoke.

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

At Rome's Basilica of St. Bartholomew, a shrine to modern martyrs, Pope Francis presided over an evening prayer service April 22, honoring Christians killed under Nazism, communism, dictatorships and terrorism.
The conference brought together six lay people from different countries “to reflect on the post-synod apostolic exhortation that has aroused grave perplexities and widespread unease in numerous components of the Catholic world.”
Gerard O'ConnellApril 22, 2017
These photos, patches of uniforms and drawings create a piecemeal account of life at Dachau during and after the war.
Teresa DonnellanApril 21, 2017
Demonstrators march during a Feb. 25 rally organized by Catholics Against the Death Penalty in Southern California (CNS photo/Andrew Cullen, Reuters).
Christianity is not a relic laid in a museum; it is not a book entombed in an archive. It lives in the living people of God.
John T. Noonan, Jr.April 21, 2017