The wind rustles outside this cave,
keening of what is done, what is past,
and of all the whispers it sings
into my ears, it is Salome’s voice,
the voice of our mother, whose words
we knew before we were, her voice,
the wife of Zebedee, pleading
we be placed on left and on the right,
seeking advantage over the others,
desiring position we did not deserve.
He said she knew not what she asked,
and I see two thieves on a hill, escorts
unto death, one on the left and one
on the right; I think of my brother
run through with the sword of the man
whose relation, the other Salome,
danced for the head of the other John.
I hear the wind on this wretched rock
and I know myself to be the one
he loved, loved even to the death.
This poem is submitted for the Poetics prompt at dVerse poets, imagining yourself to be “the other.” To see more poems submitted, please visit dVerse Poets.
Painting: Fresco of St. John on Patmos by Giotto (1320), Santa Croce, Florence.