Mary, wife of Cleopas (i)
Woman from Emmaus
What is a respectful distance?
Far enough not to hear
the struggle for breath?
Far enough not to see
the perspiration trickle down the tortured frame?
Or far enough to avoid
the kicks and beatings of the soldiers.
What is this dehumanizing
that comes with colonizing this empire?
What bile arises as we watch and grieve
for goodness hanging there? -
One day an artwork, to hang upon a wall?
This is not decorative, nor entertaining.
What is achieved?
The desire is terror…
to plant such fear within us
that his broken body
becomes our broken spirit.
How can anyone, even a prophet,
What is my role,
but to bear witness to this darkness?
I would not let Cleo come,
for all the followers are in danger.
All of us fear to make the choice
that would draw us on so black a path.
I bade him hide
and I will bear the news to him
when it is done.
What does it mean
to be among such a crowd of women?
Our word means nothing in court of Law,
yet we are the ones to watch
and tell the eternal story of hate, and love,
of suffering and death.
© 2017, A.Koh-Butler