The Denial of St. Peter


Caravaggio, The Denial of St. Peter

On the edge
hands clenched,
sad eyes downcast
bitter fear forcing tight his lips
he holds his breath

he pauses
as the angry finger
of the state
points at his throat,
hard eyes searching Peter’s
for rash conviction;

but she, she knows
has seen before
his adoring eyes, heard his
boastful voice
by the campfire
of the condemned.

Slowly he moves
toward the inevitable lie
as the bloody sun
stirs to song
the drowsy cock.


2 thoughts on “The Denial of St. Peter

  1. A powerful recreation of the meaning of Peter’s denial. I wonder how any of us would act in such a terrible circumstance. In the end Peter became Saint Peter for a good reason. This is a poem that is a good reminder of the dilemmas we all face in life. It is a powerful work of art.

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