The plates were full and all the wine provided
by the levies of the King, misguided
though he was, until the finger wrote
“you are Numbered. Numbered. Weighed. Divided.”

You dress in purple and that garotte
of golden chains weighs heavy on your royal throat.
You have lived too high, now you will not live.
Your bodies, like the stolen cream, will float

down the wide Euphrates. Then I will give
your crown to the Mede and he will forgive
my errant sons, return them to their land.
I have passed them, like grain, through a sieve.

They were tested, who failed my command,
but disciplined, restored by my own hand.
They were Numbered. Numbered. Weighed. Divided.
Where they have fallen, I alone can stand.

*Inspired by readings this morning from Daniel 5