Long ago, the price set on the flesh,
the sum arrived at with difficulty, you think,
because how many saviors come along
to determine market value?
Silver mined and pounded into coin
thin as the host
offered, accepted, refused twice
until the blood money transfigured into clay.
Here are the poor, the alien, the criminal
determined by history, feeding the minerals
with their sin, the priests satisfied
all had been cleansed.
Caroline Malone was born and lives in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains in East Tennessee. Her forthcoming poetry collection Dark Roots explores the meaning of family, heritage, and identity.