Friday, April 10, 2009

A Good Friday Poem


From my childhood, I have written poems.  Here is one for your Good Friday meditation:






John 19:38-39

What a disheveled heap
This bled-out bone bag makes
Crusted with spit and sweat
Entrusted with threats to the two of us

The workman’s wiry muscles, now slack
Are pitiful as they break through the flayed skin
But the blood – it is all gone, tired of flowing
Clotted and forgotten at the dirt footer of
The flogging pole
And of course
That cross

We avert from each other
But we cannot stop our own tears
Squeezed out between our eyelids
That should shield us from what we see here:
The candlewax pallor

The shamed nakedness we wash and cover first
To give the modesty the audience denied
Our towels dipped in the pots
We lugged down the stairs

The water pinks now
In the lamplight

Part by part
Limb by limb
We dampen and rub away
All the vestiges on
The shell of a delivered-over spirit

One of the winding cloths rolls below the ledges
We reel it in and wrap his arms
From the swaddles on our grizzled forearms

We have grown wrinkles under our tears
The weight is almost beyond our old-men strength
We heft and lean
Balance and wrap

The acrid spices
The confined space
Bring more tears
More tears

We find we do not need
The water any more


Copyright 2008, Latayne C Scott
May not be reprinted without written permission

10 comments:

Debbie Fuller Thomas said...

Thank you, Latayne. A reflective devotion for a solemn day.

Patti Hill said...

The cross is the symbol that we could do nothing for ourselves. Your poem captures this beautifully.

Know that you are all loved...and remember.

Bonnie Grove said...

Thank you, Latayne, as we go out to Good Friday services, I take your poem with me in rememberance of what Jesus has done for humanity, for me.

It was two years ago today that my son gave his six year old heart to Jesus at the very service we are about to attend. I'm so grateful!

lynnrush said...

Amen! Thank you.

Wendy Lawton said...

What shattering images, Latayne. Because we tend to run the death and resurrection together in our minds, it is hard to stop and contemplate the finality-- even the three-day finality-- of a spent and mangled body, broken for me.

Latayne C Scott said...

Thank you all.

I have tried for years to write a poem on Good Friday. I haven't felt one emerging this year.

Perhaps I need to just contemplate the ones from years past. I join you all in this one.

Latayne
www.latayne.com

Noel Green said...

This is one of my favorites you've ever written . . .

Janet said...

*wipes her eyes*

Sharon K. Souza said...

Latayne: What a beautiful and somber reminder of the awful price that was paid for our redemption. "All things work together . . ." right?

I wish you all a blessed Easter.

LeAnne Hardy said...

I was sick and didn't get to a Good Friday service. Thank you for leading me in worship.