Holy Saturday 2018 (A Poem)
I have watched two old saints dying -
A pastor's dispensation, I suppose -
And they say my wife is dying too.
Don't tell me, then, of butterflies
As pictures of grief transmuted into wisdom.
I have no time for love surviving in legacy,
In memory, in our children.
(O God, our children!)
I hear them speak of springtime,
Sunrise, a dozen other pictures saying,
"Hey, things will look up tomorrow,"
And I want to tell them where to shove their humanistic optimism -
Although as a pastor I refrain.
Death cloys too thick to be pierced by airy metaphor.
This is my confession:
That there was a moment,
A historical, observable second
When lightning arced through neurons three days dark,
Air gurgled over purple lips into collapsed lungs,
A heart contracted on its congealed cargo,
And pale fingers turned pink and spread.
This was no hope springing eternal;
This was life blossoming in a corpse,
Life the same and more than what was lost.
Eternity rushed in between shivers of the clock's hands
And the Son of Man strode forth, scarred, imperishable.
This, and nothing less, is balm for my soul.
"Credo passus sub Pontio Pilato, crucifixus, mortuus, et sepultus,
Descendit ad infernos, tertia die resurrexit a mortuis."
Let us speak resurrection to our despair.