Put Away Your Sword (Lent Poems 9)

Drawing my sword, I meant to say:
All this I’ll do, and more, for you;
Show me the battles, where the fights rage,
Tell me! – anything, I will gladly do.
Yet it was not enough, not what you desired:
The sword slicing right through Malchus’ ear.
You stayed my hand, pushed my sword to the side.
Peter, can you drink the cup that the Father
Has waiting for me? Stunned, I did not reply,
The soldiers approaching, your eyes upon me,
My sword at the ready, your hand blocking mine,
My pride screaming, Lord, can you not see?
You saw, I suspect, saw only too well,
For one moment beside the fireplace, I
Could not bring myself, when asked, to tell
That I knew you, and loved you; replied
When insistent questions fired, I swear
I do not know that man. You knew,
And said what would be, though I had declared
That I would walk through fire for you,
But the sword had been cold and dead in my hand
And the night air was empty, an open abyss,
Of watching for your silent, lamb-hearted plan,
Where swords were no match for a betrayer’s kiss.

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