John 8:58

They were not stupid
Those men of the cloth.

Well, yes, they were
Of course
Stupid
As men of the cloth
So repeatedly prove themselves to be.

But they were not unlearnéd:
Learning, in fact,
Was their claim to fame,
To community prominence,
To religious authority.

So they were stupid
But learnéd:

Learnéd enough to know
At once
What his juxtaposition of tenses
Meant.

While we puzzle it out
It hit them hard
Like rocks
Thrown at an adulterous woman

Like nails
In a coffin
Or on a cross.

“Before Abraham was,
I am”
He said,
Handing them the nails.

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