Peter. Peter. Peter.

The rooster long ago crowed, calling all to life again but I
can only lay in want, to crave a second word with you,
the third to buy into my lies, deceptions—manipulations, if you will.

I would tell you that I did know him and more.
I would tell you of his power, his grace;
I may even have told you he was God.

Oh, I’ve doubted him before, thrown up my faith before;
I slipped quickly into frigid, hungry waves
when he had given me the right to walk above them.

Three times I denied him that I love,
Twice before you.

And for each time I denied him, there’s a nail through
his flesh and bones and open veins.
And for each nail there is a day that he was dead—
I saw the scars, I knew and I believed this time,
but our score was not settled.

Three times he questioned my love for him,
and now I am going to feed his sheep and take care of his lambs.
Oh, won’t you be a ram, and a fisher of men with me?

Written in 2012

Photo Credit: Frank Meriño

In April, I’m posting a poem a day in honor of National Poetry Month. Of all the disciples, I always felt the most in common with Peter. In a poem like this one, I’m able to address those similarities in a safe way that others might connect to when they read it. The story of Peter denying he knew Jesus three times is frequently shared during Holy Week. To develop voice, beginning poets can try taking on the identity of someone else. It’s empathetically influential.

One thought on “Peter. Peter. Peter.

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