Saint Procla

Mary Sarver

without a name you


only once in 

man’s gospel

in a single sentence

of Matthew 

you exist


but brave

in that space

you testify


your husband

robed in white

yet seated in judgment

bent to your words 


you said--

have thou nothing to do

with that just man


did the temerity of your

words cut 

like a knife

through Pilate’s heart


did he wince?

did his lips tighten in 

frustration, his eyes

squeeze shut at

your voice, 

ears forced to

hear your pain


did your voice 

inspire others

to say--

don’t look away from me


to say--

what are you doing, sir

you said--

I have suffered many things this day

in a dream because of him


what did you suffer


your heart breaking



did you know 

your words 

would do nothing 

to stop the horror 


but you



to witness

to testify

to confront

Mary is a writer living in Houston. She teaches English and Creative Writing to high school students.