The Denial

by | Apr 4, 2023 | 6 Pure in Heart, Poetry

The Denial

“Woman, I know him not,” Peter replied
on behalf of us all. Give him credit:
He did not altogether lie. Who then
could claim to know Christ? Time and again
he worked wonders and forbade
the healed to tell, a futile command,
true, but to our eyes, it sufficed
to scatter him like jigsaw puzzle pieces.
It took his executioner, the one who broke
and scattered his body once and for all
to see him whole after the final throe:
“Surely this man was God’s Son!” Meanwhile,
Peter spoke for us all, for he knew him not,
nor do we, despite all the foretellings
on the road, despite minted, printed
Bibles we open in quiet hours
to review the passion, Christ’s, Peter’s, ours.
Christ’s death awakens us: Then we know him,
then we realize that it was ourselves
we did not know, it was he who knew us,
how we did not know what we were doing.

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Image: “Peter Denying Christ,” Rembrandt, 1660, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons.


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