The sparrowhawk sees
The extreme angle
Of the most extreme
The iron nails
The bloody stream
In darkening sky
Amongst the thieves
The cross stood high
A tree bereft of leaves.
Hung now upon to die
One called teacher, rabbi
No crime convicted in his youth
Nailed here for speaking Truth.
Before, in the marbled halls
He was asked a question, “What is truth?”
Christ knew what Pilate thought
But did he see the doubt?
The search beyond the Roman gods,
The seven hills and winding rivers
The aromatic sacrifice he was taught
When young and chivalrous
The flashing knife
The cut that ended life
And temples stretching to the sky
Pilate sensing the patterns changed
In this scheme that he arranged
No Pharisee, no priestess
Could fix this grave injustice
The water is cold on his hands.
The sparrowhawk spies
The glint of bronze,
A corps of crimson tunics
And a hundred pairs of eyes
He hears the groans
The crack of broken bones
On the crosses here arrayed
Drenched in the blood of the flayed.
In an updraft he turns from them
These three here condemned.
The sky has darkened
As one says feebly:
“Forgive them Father, they know not what they are doing.”