Take an Ear

When some big loudmouth makes a crack,
some I hate Christians rant-attack,
I want to beat him to a pulp.
Which isn’t Christian. So, I gulp
it down and don’t—but dream I did.

It’s like when Peter sliced that ear
off Malchus as the end drew near
and Jesus said, No more of this!
Our Lord accepted Judas’ kiss
then touched that ear and healed it.

These days the world seems locked in fear
that words alone may slice an ear.
Yet we know ears are surely healed

by one to whom we choose to yield,
as peaceful Christians we admit.


Steven Peterson

Steven Peterson is a poet and playwright living in Chicago. His poems appear in Alabama Literary Review, America, The Christian Century, Dappled Things, First Things, Light, Modern Age, The North American Anglican, and elsewhere. A selection of his poems are included in the anthology Taking Root in the Heart (Paraclete Press, 2023). His plays have been produced in theaters around the USA. He is currently a resident playwright at Chicago Dramatists.

'Take an Ear' have 2 comments

  1. April 4, 2022 @ 8:32 pm Cynthia Erlandson

    Very interesting idea, and clear and original connections between things we hear, and the physical ear as in the story of Jesus healing the ear that Peter sliced off. My favorite part — “These days the world seems locked in fear / that words alone may slice an ear.” — is insightful and artistically expressed, as well as certainly true. I also really like the form, especially how the last meters of each stanza near-rhyme with each other.


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