Seven Short Monologues for Palm Sunday



Today the people love me
as I ride upon this sinless beast.

I am an image
            an idea
            an easy metaphor

And maybe they will love me later
as I walk upon my feet.
My time is short.
I pray I do not stumble.


I, Judah, today, am proud to witness
the son of God as he proclaims his Davidity.

He is just and full of salvation.

Today he may be lowly as he rides this silly beast,
but tomorrow—tomorrow, he rides us,
a rising army,
the mighty arm of God to punish Rome
and to destroy our enemies.

Hear the people cry Hosanna!

Hear them cry for blood and their redemption.


He said it would be there.
And there it was.
And now he rides it.
And the people are mad with joy
As he smiles.

But I know madness.
I’ve seen this joy before.
And while he forgives them,
I remember.

            High Priest

Rome may not demand quiet,
But quiet is a thing we can give
Without compromising the demands
Of our fathers’ God.

The people may have their little heroes
But a true prophet would know
His donkey is a symbol of peace,
And not revel in the screaming of fools.


I don’t remember grabbing this palm frond
and I don’t remember coming to this street
and I’m not quite clear what hosanna even means
but oh, I am glad to shout it.

Whatever is happening—
whatever it means—
and whatever it leads to—
Oh, I am glad to shout.


I remember when you stumbled around your uncle’s Bethlehem home, pulling yourself up and walking into my arms. I remember when the magi arrived giving us a wealth we had never imagined. And I remember your frankincense and your gold and your myrrh bribing our way into Egypt. And I remember those who died in your absence.

So when I see a crowd crying your name and casting their clothing in your course, I cannot smile.

Oh, my son. You say this is prophecy fulfilled.

But I have seen prophecy.

And I have seen what follows.



As I said unto my apostles, I say unto you:
You are they whom my Father gave me.
You are my friends.

I know where I walk.

I walk it for you.


This poem was commissioned by the Bay Area Council of Latter-day Saints.

Video of the event this poem was presented at will eventually appear on Paris Fox’s Vimeo page. When that happens, I’ll update this link to something more direct.

Link to live version.

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