Sunday, March 20, 2011

sponge that cleanses

Harvey S. Mozolak

from their garrison quarters
by the soldier’s slave
a small man they kicked around
from some foreign capture
the sponge
an easy way from the water bucket
to wipe their faces
and clean off bloody hands
from a task that was not welcome
but just a thing
guards get commanded to do
here on the hellish hill
sometimes weekly
to shock and warn the crowds
of the Roman fist and Pilate’s power
when the one they all laughed at
and cursed called out in thirst
the officer pointed to the sea sop
in its small pink ocean
first his men squeezed out
all its tainted taste of life
then poured sour wine
into its empty craters
offering it like a chunk of a broken bitter star
returned to heaven
tearless now the dry eyes
of the condemned looked down
soaking up the suffering
on the hot acrid hill
pustule of the poison
deep in all the earth
“Father, forgiven them for they known not
what they are doing”

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