So sweet Judith, how did it feel
When the knife you held sliced through
The flesh and chords of the general’s throat?
Did you watch the blood spurt free at last from the tunnel of discord?
Did you whisper words to drown out the coming of his silence?
Or did you cut with furrowed brow and stern hands,
your lips still, your tongue pushing passed in the act of command?
His hands, that had killed their own many foes, did they
Try to defend or was sleep so complete that
The slide into death was but a moment’s passing?
Did Death’s hands, rather than the General’s, caress your face?
Did Death’s white lips lean in close
To Kiss your throat as your knife kissed Holofernes?
When you carried away the weight of his severed head
Was it wrapped in a cloth, did feel like a babe in your arms?
So sweet Judith, after that act, what could come next?
Having faced the general in that tent,
Having drunk him to his death,
Showing perhaps a hint of flesh, a lick of your lips,
A twirl of hair and flutter of a laugh, after he swooned into sleep
And you produced the knife that led to his death,
Was the rest of your life simply an aftermath?