What if I had stayed awake?
I could have comforted my saviour
or wiped that blood-stained sweat from his brow
and held him as he strove.
But no, I who had but hours before
leant against his breast in love,
and with the others, declared undying loyalty to the grave
now I lay, with stomach full,
befuddled in a happy - if puzzled - state of mind
and let my wine-soaked brain
drop my weary eyes to sleep.
How could I sleep,
when he had just declared he was distressed to the point of death?
‘Overwhelmed with sorrow’ he had cried.
Yet only sleep overwhelmed us.
And so I missed the torment of the one I loved.
Only to hear about his lonely travail
much later, on the other side of death.
How alone, he had wrestled with his will
How alone, he'd vanquished temptation
How alone, even then, he had prayed for us.
All this he later recounted,
with no sense of accusation.
He always understood, always forgave, always restored.
But I am left to wonder
‘what if I had stayed awake?’