TO ST. DISMAS / by Joseph Castorino


In your jail cell, groaning in your guilt,

  You reflect upon your miserable life;

Your dirty hair hangs limp like dry vines

  As you think about all your mistakes.


Tormented and terrorized by Death,

  You suffer in fear, utterly alone;

You can almost feel the demons of doom

  Grasping at you with their craggy claws.


The Roman soldiers, with black hearts,

  Act like the Gollums of Golgotha;

Yet they hardly even notice you as their

  Tongues scourge a bloody Nazarene.


In indescribable pain, He prays for his

  Persecutors, pouring His love upon them;

As Jesus’ holy blood drips down His cross,

  Some of it silently trickles into your heart.


Suddenly your spiritual eyes are opened,

  And you recognize the merciful Messiah;

The Lamb’s blood warms your cold heart,

  And your soul soars with new hope.