I have not forgiven my friend

And so the poison swells

Like maggots crawling through my veins

Stealing life

And trading it for



First one offense

And then the next

Like flames wrapped around tree trunks

Stripping a forest

And pulling it down to



Condoning silence with justice

And building my case

Like piles of bones in a graveyard

Pricking the air with stench

And freezing my senses in



I am prolific in the art of litany

And telling the song in repetitive stanzas

Like a clown using his flower

To squirt and squirt small children in the eyes

And leaving them



Tall grows the wound

And consumes all my mind

Like a bomb detonating inside my heart

Melting what is soft

And drying as hard as



“Forgive,” he said

And I laughed at his joke

Like an amused audience stuffing its face

With excess of food and wine

And vomiting that which was meant to



“Release,” he whispered

And I wondered at his audacity

Like a rich man counting his money

In the secrecy of a vault

And finding the suggested cost



“Lay it down,” he sang

And I grew weary of his prodding

Like a woman being courted

With courage and desire

And in stubborn acceptance I



“Here it is,” I offered

And He lifted it from my arms

Like a father removing splinters

From the hands of his beloved boy

And the war that had frostbitten

so many years


Into peace.


copyright Jill Szoo Wilson

(Photo credit: This poem was inspired by German painter Heiko Müller‘s drawing, Greece07.  http://www.heikomüller.de)