Barabbas

Author: Nola Published: over 2 years ago.
Tags: Christian, poetry, Easter Category: Poetry

I hear their distant taunts—
Crucify him.
My stomach convulses
as the chorus erupts.
Is this the day
I reap what I’ve sown?

Soldiers unlock my chains,
lead me through hollow chambers
that amplify the roar outside
with each step.
A rioting mob for my insurrection,
my heartbeat exchanged
for one I killed.

I blink as daylight
assaults my shadows;
see Pilate
plunge hands into a bowl
and raise them dripping,
raise them clean.

I’m pushed into the crowd
Is this how it’s done?
Turn me loose so they can
pull my shoulders from their sockets
before the nails find their mark?

But I’m untouched.
They’re focused on someone else.
Crucify him.
The tunic rips from his back.
The lash carves its first blow
and again
and again.
How many is that?
Twelve?
Thirteen?

I run from the melee,
relief and confusion
replacing the certainty
of death

but who
have they traded
for me?

© Nola Passmore

Published in Time of Singing, Vol. 39, No. 1, 2012, pp. 38-39.