Friday, April 22, 2011

"How Today Ends" (Friday)

[A Poem Each  Day This Holy Week]

You, on the cross, thirsting, gasping,
Bleeding the blood of streaking comets
And distant galaxies and species long extinct:
Are you forsaken by your own flailing flesh,
Or dreams that never panned out,
Or well-dressed students of torture?
I'm not sure I know.
Or is it God, is it Love, is it Grace
That lets you hang there so long, too long,
To bleed out, to turn out all that blood
And all those ambitions and plans and
Sermons you might have given?

Is your dying one with the circle of
Life, the rhythm of things, the way
Things are?  Or are you dying
For no reason at all, just because
We can, just because violence is
Somehow hard-wired in these 
Hands and hearts?  Auschwitz and
Hiroshima, kids with machine guns 
At school, and TV murder like popcorn
Every night.  Is that it?

And who answers your crying, gasping?
What do you make of the silence?
I've got to tell you: it frightens me.
Is that how grace goes?  Silently, sometimes?
Leaving you and the world to hang there, sometimes?
Through the hours, Friday's hours?
Waiting for the end?

Maybe grace is a word for another day,
Not today, not this day, not on that cross.
Maybe silence is how today ends,
Silence and questions,
You there, forsaken and bleeding out
Blood of comets and big bangs,
Blood of lovers lost to love,
Blood of all those martyrs who hung
There too, without knowing how
The whole thing would turn out.
But they did it because love
Required it, because justice
Demanded it, because peace
Is usually the hardest way of all.
Maybe grace is a word for some
Other day, maybe.  But it hardly seems right.
Is silence the best your God can do?
Is that really how today ends?