When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.” Then he said to the disciples, “Here is your mother.”
There is no changing one body for another. It is not the case,
Jesus, that because you die, another will take your place.
He will not grow into your clothes, your skin, your lungs
tested lustily in that barn when, at your birth, she wept for joy to hear your cry.
As though to prove your sheer, fallible humanity you try
to make it all better, when it would be better, Jesus,to leave them to their grief.
They will find out one another if need be; there they will agree
it is but empty labour you offer with your wasting breath.
If you had raised up children from the very rocks for Abraham,
after Isaac and that funeral pyre,
Sarah would cover her face, and her breast.
send them away hungry; the Lord will provide,
but there’s no taking back your sacrifice. Like your hands, your feet, your side,
their hearts would never mend, not quite, after you died.