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After Dark, by Isabel Chenot

Updated: Jan 26

Leah and Twen, drawing by Isabel Chenot

Isabel’s illustration is of Leah Sharibu and Twen Theodros, two Christian prisoners she prayed for all last year. Both were promised freedom if they would renounce their faith. Neither did. Twen was released from a prison in Eritrea in late 2020, and Leah has

recently given birth to a second child in captivity with Boko Haram, in a forced marriage.

Read more about Leah at Voice of the Martyrs:


After Dark

(Reading the gospels, I always thought the worst bit for the disciples would have been when Jesus was being dragged around, condemned by a kangaroo court, beaten, or

hung up helpless. But it struck me lately that the worst bit might have come after that, when the powers stood grim watch over the corpse. This poem is based on the description of those hours in Matthew 27:57-66.)

The power of the stone

and of the sword

and of the holy sect

stood guard.

What could two unarmed women do

against that force

of stone and sword and holy sect—

but watch the doors

at which a weaponed, federated world

sealed with gross power

its rampant hate, its most audacious lie,

its killing-hour.

But God—

behind the stone, beneath the sword, beyond the sect

was hiding.

But God—

watched by the weak and by the wary, unchecked

strong—was biding.


Isabel Chenot’s work has appeared before in Spirit Fire Review, as well as in

Indiana Voice Journal, Assisi, Avocet, and Blue Unicorn, among other journals.

For a preview of West of Moonlight, East of Dawn, her retelling of an old fairy tale,

May 2021 issue

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