A reading by the poet

No, Mary.  Martha is right, most right
you do well to celebrate our occasion
even with shekels you saved up for the poor,
and to give to lepers, and slaves, fleeing by night, 

for of such you will always have in abundance
more than you can die to feed and cure –
and so you will – but for tonight:  Tonight
shall be the night beyond all other nights… 

and when you see me gaping hooked to that timber
my feet split open with those fearsome spikes
and my mind gone in bleats and gasps and darkness
you will think back to our triumph of tonight; 

so it is well that we drink down this wine
that stirs us to feats and song and speech,
to cry out downfall to pharisees and coke kings
for we treat brother as god and god as brother

while they in their arrogance take us for dirt,
we speak truth, let them grovel in pearls;
so let us wildly drink away this night
and think us some kind of dim hope for all the world.

Our sacrifice, in our bypassed place and time
and wastage of multitudes, pain without measure –
may in a distant eden come to flower
persons not mindful of us will live our vision.

By JK Burnham