A Tribune’s Pride

Pilate’s private gardens are jeweled
like fall in Gaul where in winter
my men wore the fur and hides
of the beast-hordes they put to the sword
in woods thick with trees as Nile banks
with reeds. Instead of the peace I sought
the gods have given me Jerusalem.
Rome sows confusion like Carthaginian
seed on all the earth it’s salted. Tomorrow
three more to crucify. Death will wait
patiently for them, loyal as a soldier
hardened by the wars. I like to watch
the eyes of the crucified, how like rodents’
they scan the skies for signs of hawks.

number 22 in the 2River Chapbook Series