by R.L. Appleby
A man, just a man, nothing more Testifies, yet sins, a liar Chest pierced with exiled spear His blood black, thick, winter cold, Unworthy to stand in holy places. Trembling hands of sickness Pour in terror lest a drop go errant A curse to chase the still unworthy With task, a burden, to set Free a slave, maybe more. Speaking, breath stinking Foul with rebel inflection Coughs warning to awaiting Slaves all, skin of lepers Peeling white, grotesque, “Come now!” Sacred drops of blood red wine Fill tiny chalices circular No beginning, no end. Eternal. The place is holy with its presence But not the man or slave. The blood red wine makes white The blackness of old blood, cold blood, Killing blood, diseased. Does the lying man know this? He must, for he calls and warns The wounded and they come With severed limbs and heads crownless. Some crawling, ripped knees Protruding bones, wailing To the table lined with crimson life. The man, just a man, offers wine But it is not his own. He doesn’t keep it for himself For one solitary drop makes new The wounds of men, of slaves. Blood red wine not of men But of divine removes the spear. The dark stained canvas Made pure at the spill So the man, just a man, and slave To be painted anew By the wounding of the Painter The blood red wine is His. He gives.
R.L. Appleby is a pastor and poet from Corpus Christi, Texas. He holds a Master of Arts in Christian Ministry and a Master of Divinity. As an avid reader and admirer of the written word, he shares the working of the Scriptures in his life through a poetic voice. This poem is his first published work.