Good Friday: a pieta

He died with the cry crushed from his chest,
calling out from the cross to his mother.
They crucified him on a stolen hill.
They gambled away his clothes.
He called out to his mother, she
could not swaddle his naked pain.

When he was a child and wailed in the night,
it was a knife; she woke up
gasping for his breath.
They thought it somehow criminal
that he should live.

He called out to his mother,
squandering the last of his cries,
like his first, on her

In the beginning, in word and song
she storied him at her breast,
with all she knew of God and Gabriel;
he lapped it up. Now,
now, it tasted like sour wine.

He cried for his mother –
she remembered, too, the blood,
the milk and the wine – she
could not breathe. He
could not breathe. They
felt the air fall still

Life hung in the balance
between birth and death,
the first cry and the last:
He called out for his mother.

About Rosalind C Hughes

Rosalind C Hughes is a priest and author living near the shores of Lake Erie. After growing up in England and Wales, and living briefly in Singapore, she is now settled in Ohio. She serves an Episcopal church just outside Cleveland. Rosalind is the author of A Family Like Mine: Biblical Stories of Love, Loss, and Longing , and Whom Shall I Fear? Urgent Questions for Christians in an Age of Violence, both from Upper Room Books. She loves the lake, misses the ocean, and is finally coming to terms with snow.
This entry was posted in current events, holy days, poetry and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Good Friday: a pieta

  1. Ho-lee Cow! You got a lot into those few words. You tied it all together. Thank you. I needed that permission to weep this week.

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