Sunday, August 30, 2015

The soldier

(Based on Acts 12)

We stand swords sheathed
guarding this Jew or whatever
it is he calls himself some say
blasphemer these people
are a plague.

We stand guarding him
waiting for the word to come
to slice his stubborn neck
separate his stubborn head
from his body

They say he is one of the first
who followed the rabble rouser
they’re all rabble rousers
no one can tell the difference
one from the other

When they come he speaks
his hard words softly explains
who he is what he is
what he believes ripping
scales from my eyes tearing
scales from my soul slicing
my heart asunder

The order is given
the sword strikes cleanly
I kneel beside the headless
body give my confession
and ask for my sword

I see light as it swings

According to tradition, when James, the brother of John, was executed at the order of Herod Antipas, one of the Roman soldiers guarding the prisoner was so convicted by James’ final words that he asked to be executed as well. His request was granted.

Illustration: Death of St. James the Apostle, from a 19th century woodcut.

1 comment:

Joy Lenton said...

This is a powerful and affecting poem, Glynn, which reminds us of the way others are willing to die for their convictions in Christ. And it also sheds light on the way His light lifts scales from previously blinded eyes. Good work. Thank you!