(By ancient Christian tradition, there is a
point on the Appian Way where Saint Peter,
escaping from a Roman prison, met Jesus
- and realised that he had to return and
These summer evenings were the best!
What is that colour? "Try celeste,"
he thought. Well anyway, a star
was breaking through the colour, far
beyond the pines. What lay ahead?
An aromatic forest bed,
in God's own open air. No more
restraints (his wrists were raw still), or
confinement in that stinking cell
(a country boy finds prison hell).
A day or two to reach the coast,
then back to work. But right now, most
delightful was the creeping dark,
tomorrow waking with the lark,
and going where whim took him. He
not even once looked back to see
that dreadful city. That's behind!
There'll be some ship, then he can find ...
Who's coming? Just a single man.
Well, that's alright. Perhaps he can
spare bread, or wine ... "One moment. Wait.
I recognize that rolling gait.
What's that he's carrying? It's The Cross."
The emblem of triumph in loss.
"Quo vadis, Domine?" (it came
in Latin, but it's all the same:
The Master understands us all).
"I'm making for the Servian Wall.
Two leagues are all that now remain.
Then I'll be sacrificed again."
And in that instant, Peter knew
exactly what he had to do.
They'd kill him, not a doubt, this time.
Commit the callous, craven crime
of having escaped? Such dereliction
can only end in crucifixion.
With lightness in his step, he turned.
Above, the stars in heaven burned.
Copyright © Michael Coy | Year Posted 2017
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