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praetorian guard - rome

 

The Power and the Glory
after Pushkin's Secular Power

by Nessa O'Mahony


When he was completing his last ritual -
God-made-man dying on the cross -
two women stood beside that ragged tree
frozen in grief. A sinner and a saint,
they shared a name and shared a fate as icons,
two intertwining stems of sin and love.
He's cleaned up nicely. These days
a cross of polished marble sparkles
for the crowds in Phoenix Park
and at its foot, two PR men,
sincere and plausible, adapting facts,
checking legal precedent in their palm pilots.
So tell me, why the need for spin and legalese?
To make media statements out of Holy Writ?
Or did you think Christ could do with a make-over?
These days we seek efficiencies when saving souls.
Or had you guessed that your praetorian guard
would turn saints into sinners as they fumbled
in the dark of vestries and dormitories?
That crowds of Marys and Magdalenes
would jostle with their saviour and the press
for a better vantage at the High Court steps?

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Nessa O'Mahony is editor of The Electric Acorn on the Dublin Writer's Workshop website. Go have a great read!

 

 

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