April sunshine has given me the courage to take on the challenge of writing Ekphrastic poems. I have never attempted to translate the emotion from paintings, drawings, sculptures, or other visual works of art into words. The challenge will require me to dig deep to tap into the passions such works of art create inside a person. Most of what I write will be speculative. There will be times when I will place myself into the mind of the artist. Still other times, I will express the emotions I experience gazing at the work of art. If I get creative, I might even tell the story from an element within the work of art. This Ekphrastic poems is based on a painting by Caravaggio entitled Doubting Thomas.
I didn’t believe their report,
But in my defense, neither would you
If they told you he wasn’t dead.
If you listen to what I exhort
You will understand why I had my doubts.
What I’m about to say is true.
I watch them hang him on the cross
With the son burning on his head
I saw his body as they placed him in the grave
Bloody, battered, bruised, and with death contort
It’s illogical to think a corpse
Rotting in the grave for three days
Could roll a stone away
I won’t believe it until I have proof
This could all be a spoof
A trick The Pharisees play
I want to see with my own eyes
The Master without a disguise
I need to touch
The nail prints in his hands
The piercing scar in his side
Peter says I’m a fool not to believe
Matthew says I need to have a little faith
John claims I have too much pride
The women tell them to let me grieve.
Then we gather in the room
And Jesus suddenly appeared
A materialization of what I most feared
My heart stopped beating in my chest
But only for a second
He looked at me with those compassionate eyes
And held out his hands for me
And lifted his shirt so I could see
Realizing when I already knew
I was handling the Son Of God
Forever, I will go down in history
As the disciple who doubted
And stuck his fingers in his Saviors wounds.
Who is Molly Shea?
Molly Shea is an accomplished fictional short story writer from Indiana who writes short stories and novels about a fictional town called Tecumseh. To read more of her short stories and adventures, click here.
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