We meant only to torture, just to strip
Away all signs this rebel was a man
Cudgels made his hooded face a joke; whip
Made pulp from flesh and muscle.  We began
To warm up to our work.  We spat, we ran
Through every taunt and curse that we could call
And then pronounced his fate.  The usual plan
For such as him.  Wood, nails, the hammer fall
Yet as we raised him up, we heard his call
To heaven, to excuse what we had done
We meant only to torture, just to haul
Him upright to a long death in the sun
We meant to torture; he meant to forgive
His life he poured out so that we might live

Copyright © 2003 Jeremy Parsons