Thursday

It doesn’t take a prophet
To see the future tonight.
The sleep is written clearly
On their eyelids
And their eyes:
Eyes which I only see
In glimpses
As the eyelids flutter
Open. 

Simon and Thaddeus,
James and Bartholomew,
Matthew and Thomas,
Philip and Andrew:
Wait here, awake,
Stay here and pray.
I’ll take these three,
Step over this way,
Stop there and pray.

It doesn’t take a prophet
To know that all eight of them
Will fall asleep.

But James Boanerges,
And John Son of Thunder:
The fire in your souls
Will stifle your yawns,
Will it not?
And Simon, my Rock,
Impulsive, outspoken,
(Too rarely thinking),
Of your fellows unique
For raising objections
When I chart a future
Of failure and death.

But it doesn’t take a prophet
To know they’ll lay their heads down
And even their snores won’t wake them.

Judas, now: he’ll stay awake.

It doesn’t take a prophet
To know where he is,
What he’s doing.

I could read his face at dinner.
He thought he wore a mask,
But the mask betrayed him
Just as surely as he goes
To betray me.

It doesn’t take a prophet
To know what’s coming,
What will happen
To me. 

If they but paid attention, Oh!
They’d stay awake –
Indeed, they’d run.
They will run in an hour.
Peter puts his faith
In his staunch courage
And so say they all,
But just as sleep denies me
The comfort of his prayer tonight
His fear will rise to deny me
Tomorrow.
And so will they all.

It doesn’t take a prophet
To know what’s coming,
What will happen
With them.

It doesn’t take a prophet
To know what’s coming,
What will happen
To me.

Does it take a prophet
To wait here, all alone
Amidst the slumbering
Nascent betrayers,
For the kiss of death?
Some ignorance
Might have been kinder.
There will be others down the years
Who’ll wait for death
And torture’s visitation:
Ten of these, in fact.

It doesn’t take a prophet
To know what’s coming,
Or
To endure what’s coming.

It takes a prophet to take comfort
In what lies beyond what’s coming,
To see the strength and courage
Of these sleeping men,
To hope for victory beyond defeat,
To see new life upon the farther shore
Of death.

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