Blood Red Wine

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.

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