They Were Afraid

Sitting too proud in a crypt they find empty
as his words, dressed in blinding white, the young
man frightens the three women, who drop
their spices. Running for their lives, they try
to sing to quiet their fears. Yet their song
too easily becomes more dirge than psalm,
less hymn than lamentation heard by
the desolate men gathered in a room more
barren than any tomb who stare at the door
they’ve barred and the bare walls from which
they’ve angrily torn away all images of him
who betrayed each one of these mournful,
disquieted men by leaving no sign he died
two thousand years and more ago.

number 22 in the 2River Chapbook Series