Week 50

the accident: blood & glass; souls released

they were victims of our madcap ways

I was the wild child, he my mentor

we paid the price

I put my guilt in a shoe box &

placed it on the shelf over my bed


he craved

a guardian angel

her aureole lighting up

her forgiving face

he believed

he had to atone

for his sin

he heard a voice

soft, consoling, releasing

yet he could not forgive



his guilt gnawed at him

like someone with

the bone, stripping of

the last piece of meant

one warm & sun-kissed day

he asked me to meet him

at the church

in the cool inside darkness

he smiled at me as I joined

him in one of the wood-worn pews


he placed a strap in my hands

& asked me to strike his back

till skin blistered

& blood ran like on

the pavement so many

years ago

I was to ignore his howls of pain

through this act of flagellation

he thought we would both

be atoned for our sin

but I was craven; the scale of his request

scared me

I would not be the victim of his need

for penitence


shaking, I stood up

without a word I left

the church

sun light burning

my eyes

he sat, stooped

what act of contrition

would save his soul.


Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie. Wordle # 50.


© phylor 2015


2 thoughts on “Atonement

  1. summerstommy2 March 5, 2015 / 5:32 am

    I like how you have used the words in this poem. I have never understood the logic in flagellation. But so many thought it would save their souls.


    • phylor March 9, 2015 / 1:11 pm

      It is quick amassing how it has been used over time to state devotion to something; unfortunately, it continues to be used as such.


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