Procula's Tears: Mt 27:19

The city suffocates with the smell

Of hemp, soaked in blood, everywhere.

Advertisement

Hour after hour after hour she tosses

From one nightmare to another.

Her bed sheets, once silvered

With the scent of nard, taste of gall.

She dreams she sees her husband, the prefect

Of equivocation, leaning over the portico

Trying to appease the mob’s spite.

A blood-drenched man with woven thorns

Crowning his head stands before him.

He seems to speak in monosyllables

Laced with ancient prophecies.

Something deep within her says to intervene

Plead with the fates, and reverse history,

To barter this god man’s life for human years.

As night vanishes some deeper dark descends.

In the late morning frenzy that follows

She sends her husband her dream

Rolled in a scroll, which he unravels

Then lets drop.

What he has written he has written. A cross

Casts its shadow across her warning. Is this the Christ?

Or just one more raw-boned prisoner

Sentenced to die on Mars’ day.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement

The latest from america

Psychedelics can blur the line between science and spirituality—but Christian mysticism cannot be studied.
Terrance KleinJanuary 17, 2019
The extensive New York Times series in support of legal abortion unfolds as if the last 46 years of the abortion debate following Roe v. Wade never happened and did not need to.
​Helen AlvaréJanuary 17, 2019
In 1983, Sri Lanka descended into a bitter and prolonged ethnic conflict. Harry Miller, S.J., then almost 60, was thrust into a new role as witness, advocate, intermediary and protector not only for his students but for anyone in Batticaloa who sought his help.
Jeannine GuthrieJanuary 17, 2019
I have found that praying 15 minutes every day is an important form of self-care.
Michael R. Lovell January 16, 2019