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Good Friday at a Quarter Past 7

Thursday, March 20, 2008

An old man stumbled into the Good Friday service that I was attending, 15 minutes after the start of the service, prompting me to write this poem. I remember that the air was thick inside the worship room that night and laced with threats to suffocate my spirit the longer I stayed. The heavy pace of the Requiem wouldn't quit. Just like Peter, Jesus' disciple, I was glad when it was time to leave and go back out into the world. I could hardly bear to watch.

Good Friday at a quarter past seven...

An old man in a nylon jacket stumbles in and takes a seat.

Heads turn with scowls and frowns to welcome...

(…oops: “Now, what to do with his cane?”)

The heavy dirge pounds on from the platform, taking no notice,

Pulsating to the beat of a far-away drum.

Waves of darkness roil across the room

Led by notes of music imprisoned in a Victory March of another’s choosing.

Death steals across the guilty with ruthless abandon,

Unyielding--giddy, without remorse.

The air throbs thick with relentless brutality.

The old man comes to worship the Crucified One too.

Better late than not at all, I guess.

He comes to pay his respects.

To the Dying One.

To this dying Jesus.

To his Lord.

Who hangs there, after all, in place of him.

On this Good Friday.

Like every other.


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