She sits four rows back from the altar,
Her eyes tear up looking at him,
her brow scrunches,
she swallows a lump that isn’t real.
On his neck, folds of skin are bloody,
the loincloth covering his genitals,
smeared and dirty,
twenty-nine thorns in his crown.
She tries to imagine if he looked into the eyes of the man
before him – as blood wept down his face.
When the nails pushed through skin and muscle,
did he cry out? Did they crush his bones?
She wonders – did he sound like Grandma.
“It’s called the death rattle,” Aunt Lisle said.
“Lets people know what’s coming.
They expect the dying.”
Body sagging from his wrists,
would he have noticed?
She’s not sure,
but doesn’t know who to ask.
From where she sits,
she can’t tell if his eyes are open;
when she takes communion she focuses on the floor, chanting:
“Don’t look, don’t look, don’t look.”
If she looks, and they are open,
he might understand.
Instead, she counts the cracked tiles.
Father Thomas’s eyes speak to her of hell,
loudly – every time he looks at her.
Father is going there according to Mother;
Mother belongs there with him according to her.
She lights a candle,
prays: “Not there, not there, not there.”
But makes her way home nonetheless.
This poem was published online at Asylum Poetry Magazine, with 2 others of mine. If you wish – click on the link:
Lots of great poetry by New Zealand poets and some beautiful photography as well. This issue of the magazine showcases a lot of emerging talent in New Zealand. I am proud to have been included.
This is my poem for Thursday Poets Rally Week 47 (June 30 to July 6, 2011) hosted by Jingle and fellow Promising Cafe officials at The Promising Poets Poetry’ Cafe.
I got The Perfect Poet Award for Week 47. Thank you. It is greatly appreciated !!
The following is my acceptance poem:
children of the Gods.
Animal – spiritual – two
natures united– Chiron,
child of two races.
Mix the best
I would like to nominate – A Lonely Yorkshireman.