Saturday, May 15, 2010


(Bernard Plockhorst (1825-1907), The Good Shepherd

Judge not, lest ye be judged.
-- Jesus Christ, quoted in Matthew 7:1

Before you read
Your poem, you tell us
That the subject
Will be Christ,
Because He’s
Your priority.

You don’t call yourself
A “warrior for Christ,”
And yet that’s the impression
You create
Of your intention.
You seem very angry.

Your poem cites
Several Bible passages,
But, to your credit,
Mostly doesn’t try
To quote them.
You say you don’t care
If we sinners
Are offended.
“He didn’t save us
So we could be polite,”
You add. You glare
Into my eyes
As you steamroll your way
Through this part
Of your poem.

You say
You did many bad things
Back before you were saved.
You robbed
And hurt people.
It seems less
Like a confession
Than a threat –
You hurt them,
And you could hurt us.

I remember
My grandmother’s favorite
Holy card, the one
With the painting
Of Christ carrying
A lamed lamb.
Christ’s eyes
In that picture
Were gentle.

Paradoxically, I also picture
Warriors for Christ
Who killed and tortured millions
In the Inquisition --
Especially old women
Like my grandmother,
Who worked to heal the sick,
Who offered herbal cures
And helped deliver babies.
For what crimes
Were these women killed?
Well, one might say,
“God knows.”

I feel like that lamb,
Looking for a shepherd,
Seeing nothing here
Except another path
To slaughter.

-- © 2010 by Jack Veasey

All rights reserved. This work may not be reproduced or duplicated in any way without the author's written permission.

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