Thursday, April 9, 2009

A Poem for Good Friday


Pietà

And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him,
they took him down from the tree, and laid him in a tomb.
Acts 13:29


With careworn hands, the Mother tends her Son.
She does not notice, when she lifts the thorns
with tender care and wipes away the blood,
her fingers bleed. She smoothes the tangled hair,
sweat-drenched and limp. She pays no heed to stains
upon her dress where rests the tortured back,
red-cloaked, but not with majesty. His weight
lies heavy on her lap where once the babe
lay just as still in sleep, thirst satisfied.
She knows his hands and feet feel nothing now,
but her hands ache with something deeper than
the age of bones. When friends have lifted him
to bear him to his bed of stone, her feet
will follow, pausing now and then to rub
the bloodied footprints from the sand.

The chill
will never leave her once they roll the stone
across that charnel cold. Though he will rise,
the flesh that bore him will not ever lose
the imprint of that final dark. The hour
of night that seized the earth at afternoon
once light was quenched, will settle in her soul
as memory no morning sun will quite
efface.
And so, remembering, she tends
the wounded flesh of all the human race.



Genevieve Glen, OSB; ©2005, Abbey of St. Walburga, Virginia Dale CO 80536-8942. Reprinted from On Threads of Hope (Portland OR: Pastoral Press, 2008). All rights reserved. Please note that the technical limitations of Blogger do not allow the proper placement of the broken lines.

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