Peter denies the Christ

Image: L'oreille de Malchus (The ear of Malchus), by James Tissot, James Tissot, Public domain, via Wikimedia Common

Peter denies the Christ
(John 18:1-27)


It was dark. Smoke
from torches refused to rise,
hung about the olives and our eyes,
flames close to dying as though light
itself were loath to bear witness

Servant girl

It was cold;
the kind of spring
morning that reminds
aching fingers of the underworld
from which new, green shoots
are trying to break ground


Clang of metal against mail
out of rhythm as we stumbled
through the Garden,
an assault to the ears

Servant girl

His accent was a crime – 
the rooster crowed with laughter – 
I did not expect his tears
hissing as they hit the fire


I did not see the blade
nor hear the pain,
felt only warmth flood
and throb, blood
to feed the olive trees,
to feed the olive trees

Servant girl

He left his sword
uncleaned, found
uncovered by dawn

Image: L’oreille de Malchus (The ear of Malchus), by James Tissot, James Tissot, Public domain, via Wikimedia Common

About Rosalind C Hughes

Rosalind C Hughes is a priest and author living near the shores of Lake Erie. After growing up in England and Wales, and living briefly in Singapore, she is now settled in Ohio. She serves an Episcopal church just outside Cleveland. Rosalind is the author of A Family Like Mine: Biblical Stories of Love, Loss, and Longing , and Whom Shall I Fear? Urgent Questions for Christians in an Age of Violence, both from Upper Room Books. She loves the lake, misses the ocean, and is finally coming to terms with snow.
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