He could hear the sounds of boots as they drew even closer,
The key turns and he listens for the scraping echo of his door opening,
Rough, calloused hands grab at him, releasing him from his chains,
Cursing they kick at him, his battered body and mind screams, 'Not again!'
He is dragged through the prison courtyard and outward to the paved street,
The light pounds through his eyes and he stumbles joustling one of the guards,
A Roman soldier pulls up a main beam, places on the thief's shoulders and back,
'Carry it!', he shouts,the thief slowly climbing up Golgatha's well-trodden track!
Both guards whine about having to pull double duty today because of this strange Jew,
Bartamaeus wonders who they are talking about and recalls gentler times of his childhood,
'Forgive me Jehovah for all Your commandments that I Bartamaeus have broken or never kept!'
'God are you really out there?' 'Please here me, Oh God, forgive, oh forgive me!', he wept.
'Shut your mouth!', growled the soldier named Proca.'Try acting like that Man to your left!'
Bartamaeus looked and thought it is just another poor wretch like me but he is not afraid?
'Who is he? 'They call him the 'King of the Jews!', spat Baccaus, shoving the thief down,
Reaching for a spike,Proca grabbed the thief's left hand and tied his arm with cord found.
A pain slammed into the thief so intense that he stared at the protruding spike in unbelief,
'Oh God, oh God; this can't be happening, it hurts so bad, Jehovah!, he blubbered and sobbed,
'Oh, NO!' 'Pleeese not again, the thief pleaded as once again his arm was tied to the beam,
The soldier drove the spike into his hand and Bartamaeus let out a blood-curdling scream.