Akeldama

With flaccid handshake and pallor
the boy introduces himself,
as Judas the Betrayer.
 
He is stiff, staring and flat of affect.
The doctor sees illness
in his eyes and posture.
 
The boy speaks and the doctor hears
the song of disordered thought
in meter and harmonics.
 
The doctor asks a set of questions
and orders medication with a note
as the boy is led away.
 
Now he knows that in a few days
Judas will again scramble
across the Field of Blood
 
and fall headlong and burst in the middle
and his insides will spill out
and we will be rid of him again.
 
Or perhaps when he cannot sleep,
he will close his eyes tightly
and see his own silhouette hanging.
 
And it is with this thought that the doctor
picks up the phone and
orders an overnight watch.
Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement

The latest from america

Mourners hug on March 18 after visiting the Masjid Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, the site of a terrorist attack last Friday. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
First, reach out to your neighbors and local mosque to show concern and compassion. Then call out those in your life who dehumanize others.
Saadia AhmadMarch 19, 2019
This undated photograph shows a close-up of the table where executions are carried out by lethal injection at San Quentin State Prison in California. (CNS photo/courtesy of California Department of Corrections)
Everything about the death penalty system seemed to be designed to deny hope. 
George WilliamsMarch 19, 2019
“We need a permanent legislative solution for those who have spent their lives contributing and living in the United States, the country they know as home,” Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin, Tex., and chairman of the U.S. Bishops Committee on Migration, said while endorsing the latest iteration of
J.D. Long-GarcíaMarch 19, 2019
Before long I had tears in my eyes—and not from the uneven grooves worn into the wood by pilgrims’ knees. Something about the physical discomfort helped me to focus on the much greater pain Jesus had felt on those same stairs.