Bruised and battered,
propped up against the Western Wall,
I curl into myself,
each breath a painful labour.

I wait for the hurt to subside.
Like the sun,
time will fade the fabric
and leave a sepia imprint on my heart.
Time will dull the ache.
Time takes time.

Then they come.
Individually they come.

Not the Samaritans,
who would wordlessly bind these wounds,
carry me to comfort at personal cost.

No, the Crusaders come.
Unlocking the word
they tear out teachings,
recite them at me
and push them deep into each chink in my soul.

I wince as they poke raw flesh
and open what was closing.

Satisfied the preachers turn, casting about for a new pulpit.

Closing my eyes I sink into fitful slumber
and cry in my sleep.