Monday, November 12, 2018

Betrayed with a Kiss



Beloved one and friend,
Jittering, I called you;
In my very hometown,
I sought your face and found you.

You asked me, and I came–
At no small risk, with trembling;
A tender heart aflame,
Open to you and trusting.

We spoke of truth, goodness, and beauty,
To love, and do what you will;
To become responsible forever
For those whom you have tamed.

I offered, far too recklessly,
To walk with you this journey;
To love, shield, and embrace you
Under the shadow of my wings.

Together we went up
To the Little Jerusalem;
With me, you prayed the Amidah,
Then sent me off to Golgotha.

We appeared before great rabbis–
The living and the dead;
Stood before Jews and Gentiles,
And then my blood you shed.

We shared our last Passover,
Singing songs of hallel;
Then, with a kiss, you betrayed me
To Rome, and to the gates of hell.

Job’s sufferings and agony
Assiduously you studied;
Then laid his griefs upon me,
Leaving me stunned and bloodied.

As I bitterly wept and sighed,
You turned away in silence;
Abandoned me, crucified,
To tour the Land of Promise.

While I still hung in desperation,
You made one last request:
That your good name and reputation
I would please not harm or contest.

The heart you had just won and tamed
You broke, bruised, cut, and maimed;
My soul you softly pierced and killed
So you could better do God’s will.

To stand guard over your solitude
I was wholeheartedly devoted;
Yet you showed no solicitude
When I needed you the most.

You coldly spurned every appeal,
Gave icy silence to each petition;
Ignored all prayers and desperate pleas,
Refused to mend, heal, or even listen.

Why did you turn from light to darkness–
Sweet memories to bitter sadness?
Did you not preach responsibility
Before smiting love so cruelly?

You spoke of truth, then flatly lied,
Gave lip service to goodness;
Your own beauty you badly marred
By turning coldly ruthless.

You ever seek great saints and martyrs,
Praising their courage and dignity;
Yet you misled, used, and discarded,
Then fled with cowardice and duplicity.

How does one live with so much dissonance?
Trampling on others with piety;
Humbly promoting one’s self-importance;
Saving the world by treachery.

How many holy thrills experienced
Hiding dark contradictions,
When love and trust you sacrificed
On the altar of vain ambition?

I miss the friend I thought you were;
Was certain you’d rise to the occasion;
That you would live up to your ideals–
Convinced you were a better person.

Driven by restless activism,
O unresponsive and tepid soul;
Passion misguided by narcissism,
The heart you wounded most is yours.

As you affirmed your dignity,
You would not look me in the eye;
Did you serve well the common good
As I gasped for breath and died?

While building up society,
Close friendship you sabotaged;
Involved your gifts and talents
To disappoint, hurt, and dehumanize.

What is this heart of ice and stone–
A reflection of who you are?
You left mine wholly crushed and torn–
Is that for which you stand?

By wounding and betraying,
You missed a higher calling:
To bring honour and glory
To God and to your country.