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)
Hon. Mention, Poetry for the Spirit 2008 Contest,
2008 Anthology of St. Mark's Sacred Arts Festival, Durango, CO
©2009 Bonnie Manion