All Saints Church Blog,Poems Three Times – Simon Peter & Jesus

Three Times – Simon Peter & Jesus

Three times I’d seen him since that wonderful and confusing day
Three times I’d tried to avoid his gaze
to look away from him as I did that night
Three times I saw him looking at me with wondering eyes
Three times my heart burned for shame as I broke the gaze

Now we sit around the fire
eating fish and talking of the future
I don’t want to think about the future any more than I want to think about the past

As we sit the charcoal glows and the particular aroma of burning wood takes me unwilling back to that awful night

“you were one of His!”
The voice had cut across my grief and fear like a knife
Did I know her?
Did she know me?
I muttered something non-commital
Others took up the cry
“you were with him!”
“You even sound like him!”
And fury filled my head
How dare they interupt my grief and pain
How dare they take him
Then the hot flame of fury was doused in an instant in a chilling wave of fear
They’ll take me too
What do I say
And then came those words which I wish to God with all my heart I could unsay
“I swear to God I never knew him”
and the cock crowed
and I looked up into his face
and I knew I’d failed

A gust of wind and the charcoal smoke stings my eyes as the tears come a second time
As it clears I am looking again into his eyes
He’s going to do it here, in front of them all
He’s going to send me away

“Simon, son of Jonah…”
He used my old name, am I not Peter any more, has my rock been taken away
“… do you love me more than these”

A dozen pairs of eyes look at me
A dozen pairs of ears wait for my response

“Lord you know that I love you””

and then the question comes again
What do I say?
So I say the same “you know”

You know how ashamed I am
You know how wretched I feel
You know how much I wanted to say I knew you
You know how badly I let you down

I’ll get my things and leave,
go back to the fish

And then a third time
“Do you love me?”
and I know that he knows my heart
and so I make my threefold confession
Three times to match my betrayal
Three times he leads me back into his embrace
Three times

“Follow me!” he said
and so I did and still do

© 2011 – JJ – A member of the Church Family – Published by All Saints Church with permission

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