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.

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

“To the Bone,” which recently premiered on Netflix, tells the story of 20-year-old Ellen (Lily Collins), who is living with anorexia nervosa.
Karen RossJuly 21, 2017
The distinction between the disciplines of theological work and how these function in our common life is necessary.
What is it about habits and cassocks that capture the imagination of even secular audiences?
Ashley McKinlessJuly 21, 2017
Why Ron Hansen will never read the Gospels the same.
Ron HansenJuly 20, 2017