Disciples Asleep at Gethsemane


I have dreamt a dream of fulfillment, of freedom:
she was an old woman, with a face like the moon,
first full with reflection, then new and dark, and then
we were in a garden and the fountains murmured
words I wanted so much to hear, but mixed suddenly
with harsher tones, with disappointment—a man’s voice.
I don’t deny it: I hold hard to my needs, myself.


Who was I to be chosen? It was late, and I understood
so little—though that little after my own fashion,
and who am I not to be accounted as good as anyone else?
I slept, and in my sleep knew I slept, and dreamed of being
awake—it was enough, surely, for I had been chosen.
Three times he returned and spoke, but I enfolded him
into myself, hearing him say, “Sleep, and take your rest.”


There was a meal, a hymn, some wine, and I followed,
wanting to be part of it all. We climbed a hill where
the trees were silver in the darkness, and a wind sighed
about us. It seemed to speak to my heart, saying, “This is
more than you,” and so I listened, and followed, knelt
and entered that voice. And then there were lights, a crowd,
confusion, a kiss, and a naked man running away into the dark.