Friday, January 13, 2017

Day 13: Notes on the Cross-Examination of Pilate

How long were you the 
ruler of Judea?
And isn’t it so that your mandate is to 
keep the ruled at peace,
make things predictable —
food for the hungry,
work for the unoccupied,
penalty for the wicked?
And this man who spoke about the 
law of loving God above all
and loving others as one loves oneself,  
what balance did he tilt 
to merit the punishment that you meted?
He did not incite any one against Rome, you will agree? 
Or rally Galilee to secede?
When he spoke, in fact,
of giving to Ceasar what is Ceasar's, 
or loving one’s enemy, he might have implored the province to embrace your dominion — 
weren’t you, after all, the enemy?
The truth, Mr. Pilate, is that you are a coward, correct? 
You stand for nothing but the erection in your loins, 
the food of your feasts, 
the palace where you sleep, and 
the servants you order around?
And violence you can take,  
as long it’s not you they attack? 
Better he than you, 
a footnote to the bankruptcy  of your politics, 
where you trade the easy for the just and 
deny what is due?
You’re an ordinary man in an extraordinary time? 
You know history would not be kind, 
Answer me yes or no — 
You were oblivious  of your 
chance to prove 
the prophecy was wrong —
That man is rational
That man is free
That by doing what is right, 
man could break 
from the empire of expediency?
There are many like you 
who lived and died,
with amoral hearts?
You are excused.

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