Home > Poetry > The Wife of Judas

The Wife of Judas

The Wife of Judas      


I don’t believe he

acted in hatred.

If anything, it

was fear. Fear of the

Romans, the church—fear

of the Almighty.


Judas was a good

man, though he starved for

something more. We’d made

love one last time the

night before the kiss,

and I felt his fear.


His sleep was restless,

breathing rapid and

sharp. I could tell he

dreamed of Joshua,

and that his heart ached

the way my heart aches.


When I learned of his

death, I cut my hair

in mourning. I used

the money for a

plot, and I buried

him with my sheared locks.


As the wife of a

betrayer, I was

cursed. I wept more still

when Joshua died.

The Mary’s wouldn’t

let me help prepare


his body, though I’d

offered myself. I

was cursed, you see. My

children, too, were cursed.

We were not welcome,

because of my love.


Before Joshua,

we Jews had no hell.

There was no heaven,

no afterlife. Just

this life. We had to

make the most of the


lot we were given.

But Peter and the

Mary’s and the rest

of them insisted

my sweet Judas would

surely burn in hell.


He loved Joshua,

maybe even more

than he loved me. At

times I’d been jealous

when he would speak of

his great miracles.


Love and fear, and fear

and love: they became

the ties that bound my

love. And here I am,

a murderer’s wife,

terribly tangled


in those same, wretched

chains. All because I

loved a murderer.

All because of love.

All because of fear.

It must have been fate.


Karin Dickinson

Normative Syllabic Verse/

Open Form


Categories: Poetry
  1. Allen
    July 18, 2011 at 11:19 am

    *applause* As always, beautifully written.

  2. July 18, 2011 at 9:54 pm

    Thanks, Allen. 🙂

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