. . . and ran away naked . . .
by Maryann Corbett
Foggy with sleep, with the long feast, with wine,
he heard in fragments. State police. Arrested.
Master. Bolt upright, panicking, he twisted
the sheet around himself and groped half blind
downstairs, outside, to the teacher’s place of prayer.
That there was blood already he could smell,
and hear the barking of commands, and feel
the noose of tension, and then see—there, there—
backlit with lamps and torches, the bowed head
of the man in whom all freedom’s hopes had lain.
And his soul drained away because he knew,
then, it was over. Sudden fierce and sweaty
hands yanking his bedsheet snapped him sane.
He dropped it, running. As prudence bids one do.
Copyright © 2014 by Maryann Corbett.