An Easter Trilogy

Here are three drafts of poems I composed over the course of Holy Week and Easter Weekend. 

 

“Holy Week”

You set your face toward Jerusalem,
and so the world spins toward Sunday,
whether I am ready or not.
We are born hoping for resurrection.

      What can wash away my sin?

You bid us to come prepared,
and I don’t mean to take you lightly,
but this holiness is too heavy.
I can’t lift it; I don’t try.

       Nothing can for sin atone.

You warn us to watch and wait,
but the days slip by in their ordinariness,
and I ignore your calls to remembrance.
Daily life drowns out true life.

       What can make me whole again? 

We have been waiting, but Friday still comes too soon,
and I have not even removed my coat
or laid down my palms.
Hosanna, forgive me.

         Nothing good that I have done.

I fear my proclivity to worry about minutes
and forget the hours you have suffered
since before the foundation of the world.
Remind me of the fullness of time.

Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

 

 


 

“Good Friday”

Today is the day I realize
some part of the weight of sin.
Today is the day I am crushed,
but not completely.

For only you could stand up
under the full weight of death
and give yourself over to the crushing
agony of separation
and full knowledge of despair.

Today is the day I realize
the horror of lost innocence
in small and large transgressions,
The aching hearts of children
who know no better,
the murder of love
and the murder of you who are love,
the disillusion of marriage
and its dissolution,
the defeat of life
in its place of origin,
the panic of insanity,
the terror of uncertainty,
the endlessness of death,
the brokenness of dreams,
the emptiness of waiting,
the hunger of desire.

Because I know in part
I have realized in part.
I see in part
and mourn in part.

But you know fully
and have realized fully.
You see it all
and you mourn it all.

Today is the day I realize
that where we would die,
where we would suffocate
and be obliterated,
You stood.
You bore.
You were crushed so I could stand

Today is the day I realize these things.

 


 

“Easter”

I let the brown dog out into the clear air
and watch as she lowers her nose into
piles of petals
blown there by yesterday’s rain.

Each exhale
creates a flurry of motion
as pink flakes rise and fall with her breath.

It seems like a simple Sunday ritual:
The dog, the waving springtime.
But does Lucy feel today’s weight?

An exhale from the tomb,
An exhale from nature,
Life that scatters petals, shatters shrouds.

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