Was it a night like this, gibbous amber moon
silently rising, secreted behind a curtain
of cloud, hazy yellow evening air thick
with the pungent scent of tree pollen?
Was it a night like this, hill slope garden
darkened, a sturdy vine with outstretched limbs
preaching its faithful, painful lesson
to both teacher and his friends?
Was it a night like this, sleeping city unprepared,
creation unaware except for the faraway stars
coldly watching the shameful plot unfold,
nailed eternally to the black vault of night sky?
Was it a night like this, midnight breeze stirring
telltale shivers, torchlight writhing, night creatures
crying out when a trusted companion
leaned close to plant the fatal kiss?
Was it a night like this, bonfire throwing off
borrowed courage, smoke not screening
a Galilean's lies (Peter's betrayal bitterly lived to
his own cross, martyrdom far better than Judas' bitter end)
first published in Poetry of the Spirit Anthology
©2009 Bonnie Manion