by Joseph S. Salemi
Copyright (c) 2008 First Things (May 2008).
Pinioned here, I look downwards to see
My mother weeping in unfettered grief
Her heart transfixed by swords, beholding
Me Hang from this branch like autumn’s final leaf.
Disciple John-how much more than the rest
My soul smiles on him in completest love!
Mother and friend, by misery oppressed,
Huddle and hunch together. Raised above
This scene of bleeding spirits, I can make
No sign of recognition or concern
Except to speak out from My wooden stake
And give them to each other, for I yearn
To show the world how caritas unties
The bond of blood and flesh, and doing so,
Entwines a new knot even as it dies.
I bid you, mater dolorosa, go
And seek Me in the lambs that I hold dear:
The captives ransomed by My bitter cup-
For through this gift I make love’s mandate clear:
Go wash each other’s wounds, and bind them up.