Yes, you did follow him
Into the palace courtyard.
You had boldly vowed
To follow him to the end.
Now you are there.
They are torturing him within
As you sit with the guards without,
Outside in that damned courtyard
And wait ...
By the dying fire.
'What am I doing here?'
You ask yourself,
Uneasy and lonely
In the dark glow.
'But at least I am here.'
You tell yourself.
Suddenly, knifelike, someone shouts:
'Hey! You too were with the Nazerene!'
The finger of the high priest's servant
Jabs ever so sharply.
And in your heart at least
You desperately shrink towards the gate.
'I don't know what you are talking about.'
And you flee instead into the shadows
It doesn't work of course.
They are on to you.
You are cornered.
The come at you again.
And you deny again — a second time,
This time with an oath.
Then you deny him once more.
Oh so strangely that fateful third time.
The hideous crackle of the rooster's crow
Cuts the still of the Friday dawn
And with that
You weep an inconsolable weep
That now echoes through the ages.
Why, Peter? Why?
You can only ask.
In a different imperial courtyard
In another time
And another why.
This intimate proximity
I was in an old wooden church the other day when I met
A young man aged four or so who was cradling a plastic
Green guitar. Seldom do you see a soft guitar all folded
And bent and flopped such that for a moment I thought
Maybe it had melted. He bent over it with such affection
That you could tell he and the guitar were real close and
Certainly spent lots of time in just this intimate proximity.
Casually I asked him if I could strum it for a moment and
He said quietly and seriously, No. I asked him later about
The guitar and where he'd found it and how long they had
Been together and we chatted about guitars for a while and
Then he said so quietly that he was almost whispering I did
Not know if you would hold him right. I said I understood
Completely, and how generous it was of him to explain his
Feelings so straight out and honest and genuine, and then it
Was time for him to carve a pumpkin and we parted. But this
Morning I remain moved not just by his open honesty but by
His tenderness for his friend. Would that we all were just so.