What did you, could you think
as they pounded through your open palms
forcing coarse, bloody iron nails
to sink deep into the splintered wood?
Did you feel the grasp of panic,
that sudden, stomach-wrenching sense
that this, at the very last, is it —
no further chance of changing, turning back?
Were you, perhaps, bewildered,
having hoped, despite defiant words,
for at least one late and minor miracle
on your own behalf, considering all the rest?
Did flooding fear compound with rage and hate
at the sheer blind brutality of soldiers,
fellow sons of God, treating you
like meat to be hung raw in a butcher’s window?
Or dare we yet believe what was written,
that your concern was, even at the end, to shield,
to plead the cause of all who wield the whips
and crushing hammers of this crucifying world?