The Silence Before Pilate

by Jeffrey Essmann

It’s written down that Pilate was amazed
When Jesus not a word in his defense
Assayed against the rabid vehemence
Of his accusers as they paraphrased
His blasphemies; how even he’d dispraised
The Emperor and given God offense
By teachings freely at the Law’s expense
Whose dangers could not rightly be appraised.
But all was still within the Jewish king
Whose kingdom clearly was not of this earth,
And in his silence thought of going home.
For now he knew he’d met the man whose uttering
A death decree would give his kingdom birth
And blessed the sorry governor from Rome.

Jeffrey Essmann is an essayist and poet living in New York. His poetry has appeared in numerous magazines and literary journals, among them Dappled Things, the St. Austin ReviewThe Society of Classical PoetsAmethyst ReviewAgape ReviewAmerica MagazineU.S. Catholic, Heart of Flesh Literary Journal, Edge of FaithPensive, and various venues of the Benedictine monastery with which he is an oblate. He is editor of the Catholic Poetry Room page on the Integrated Catholic Life website.

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