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Sample Poems by Kim Bridgford


Judas


I sold my Lord for thirty coins of silver;
I sold my Lord the way that he had said.
According to the prophecy, he’s dead.
I am the one to blame, the one to pilfer

The dirty skirts of history, and to find
That I am now a scourge to all mankind.
My name is but a synonym for how
You do not treat a loved one, like a crow

That feeds upon misfortune, in the flesh.
And it is this, I think, that made me wash
My hands of life.  I couldn’t stand the grief
That rippled into years with no relief. 
I like to think I saw him in the noose
That kicked the world away and cut me loose.



Doubting Thomas



I wish that everything could be like this—
Sex, for instance.  Love. To touch the blood
Of someone else by reaching deep is kiss
Made holier than kiss, by Jesus made

Into the resurrection of the body,
And by the God for Whom he is the son.
I feel that I was born to do this duty,
To place my hand inside of such a one

And gasp.  I am the awe of the beloved,
Who finds fulfillment in the commonplace,
The one who hears the footsteps, sees the face,
And weeps.  True, some by their belief are moved.
Not me.  His blood is drying on my fingers.
The scent of who he is, and was, still lingers.


 
That Stillness


Lazarus

How to explain what I do not remember?
For though my body was undone in death,
My spirit was there, like a holy fly in amber,
Underneath my rotting burial cloth:

To be called by him.  My state was both not-real
And real.  For who was I without my knowing?
More like the darkness in its daily fall,
More like the stone, more like the body going,

Collapsing into time.  There was the nothing
That I lay in, and only since have I recalled
What must have been—my release to death, the mouthing
Of sorrow as I was mourned.  When I was pulled

Back from that other place, I knew I was.
I heard him call my name, and then I rose.

Jesus

I am the resurrection, and the life,
And Lazarus is proof.  For sometimes faith
Is not enough.  God understands their grief,
And knows the greatest human wish is breath

Returned.  My God who is in the firmament
Is made of clouds and of Himself, each hue
And every one.  I am His instrument,
Who unwraps truth from daily life, to show

Doubt for what it is, and leaves instead
A miracle.  I am the resurrection,
And the life. 
Lazarus shows what I have said.
I take him with the firmness of conviction,

And he steps out into the light, removes
His cloth, and through the Word of God, he lives.

Lazarus

Later, it was difficult for me,
For how do you explain to anyone
The line that stands between mortality
And death?  At night, sometimes, as I drank wine,

I’d sit in silence, dreaming myself back
To nothing, and, after a while, I could do it,
Become the cave I lay in, and, with luck,
Sometimes, I could go further, when I knew it

Again.  For just a moment I would float
Within the darkness made of birth and death.
When morning came, I’d tremble when I ate,
But then the world came back, and I could breathe.

I knew inside the body was the soul,
That stillness in the middle of it all.

Jesus

I thought of him when I was hanging here:
The sweat and blood had fallen in my eyes;
The nails and Romans pierced me everywhere.
I waited for the metamorphosis.

My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
Dangling on a cross between two thieves,
I wondered why I’d walked upon the sea,
Multiplied His fishes and His loaves,

Only to die like this.  Why not save me?
And, as I died, I was completely human.
I understood the workings of the body
For the first time.  That’s why I was born of woman:

To be born, to live, to die as every man.
And, afterwards, there was the resurrection.

Lazarus

Later, when death came, I had no fear.
I’d been the walking miracle, the man
Who died and walked again.  My life was far
From easy.  Who would lie with me?  What woman

Yearned to be with death?  I knew what kings,
And seers, poets and believers know:
A loneliness, an apartness from all things
And yet connection that other people grow

To yearn for when the other parts of life
Are not enough.  I was not frightened then.
It was the elimination of all strife;
It was the natural pathway of all men.

Take me, I said, and after it was done,
I blended who-I-was with earth and stone.

Jesus

Because I was a man, I had some doubt.
Because I was His son, I rose again.
Because I was a man, I had been caught.
Because I was His son, I had the sin

Of the world upon my shoulders.  It was hard.
These are the words that I spake unto you.
I was made to suffer and to be the Word
Of God.  I am myself but made anew,

The living promise of the life beyond.
We are not stones or trees or dust or water.
We do not have beginning or an end,
Except on earth.  Trust that there is something better.

You’ll rise again.  I know what you’ve been through.
I suffered human life:  and so do you.