POEMS: Eros MutatusTo the Red Cross WorkersReflectionsA Prayer at PentecostTo My GrandchildrenA Modern OdysseyEphemeridsBernini’s DavidSocrates’ ExhortationTed Kaczynski: UnabomberTo DanteA Faustian BargainAt the CrossroadA Modern Eden Is the Bible BeltThe Third TemptationPrometheos Revisited


Through Self's Veneer: Poetry by Robert J. Nolan (drawing of two heads in profile facing each other)


To the Red Cross Workers

Murdered in Their Sleep (Dec., 1996)

Hardly the kind to clothe self-sacrifice,
like zealous evangelists,
in specious consolations—
the certainty of life eternal,
or some misty Providential order,
convinced that evil somehow turns to good—
nor could you ever be charged with seeking
to wrap your Selves in glory,
to be immortalized in human memory,
naked and nervous
you made your way to a land
it seemed even God had forsaken,
wanting only to clothe the naked
and wrap their wounds.

But your own nakedness was too alluring
to those who know nothing of making love,
but wedded to violence, beget only Death.

They came, as one might expect,
shrouded in darkness,
ravaged your sleep and their own,
united with you now as never in peace,
for when they violated your bodies
you entered their souls,
and in nine weeks, nine months, or nine years
they’ll give birth to the memory of an evil night.

In you
God again had made his way among them and—
no surprise—
again he was murdered.

Go to Top


  Through Self’s Veneer


  About Robert J. Nolan



  © Robert J. Nolan, 2010