HONOR SCROLL POET
Roberta Pipes Bowman

BEFORE THE BLADE

The dungeon is dank and dismal,
walls are black from ages of smoke.
Somewhere rattling chains clink
miserable sounds in the cell.
An old man bends over a tablet
and slowly writes a letter.

Dear Friend, come to see me
before winter, before leaves fall
and fields are bare, before frost
when the rivers grow still.

Bring my coat, the one I left
with Carpas. It is worn, bleached
from brine after the shipwreck,
stained with blood from beatings,
and torn by thorns of travel.

I long to hear your voice
and know you are well
before the blade falls.

Bring the books, oh the books
with comforting songs of David,
proverbs of Solomon. Bring a jar
of ointment, sweet odor of flowers,
remembrance of walking among
the creations of God. These will help
through prison’s dark days.

Many are bound in jails of disbelief.
They linger in dungeons of fear
without the key to freedom.
I must write of Christ, the door.

Come to see me before winter,
before the blade falls.

Roberta Pipes Bowman     
Haltom City, Texas
     

Roberta Pipes Bowman, 95, of Haltom City, Texas is a retired office worker and widely honored award-winning poet. She has published two hardback poetry books and nine chapbooks. She is also author of From Flour Sacks to Satin, the story of a blind sharecropper’s daughter during the 1920s and 1930s. She has two sons, four grandchildren and five great grandchildren. Her astrological sign is Cancer.