Good Friday

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Nailed to that scaffolding the State
erects to brandish sovereignty,
bait for the circling vulture, death—
this was his choice, and not his fate.
He oversaw, with laboring breath,
the world framed by his carpentry,

the work of six days, seen as good,
but long since tempted to its fall,
its honor lost, its beauty marred.
Could it be salvaged? If it could,
the savior would not go unscarred.
He staked all for the sake of all.

For those who climbed to see the sight
on the bald hilltop, sick at heart,
even before the sky had changed
it seemed a day imbued with night.
Heaven and earth, so long estranged,
had never felt so far apart.

His final cry was not a word.
(So wrote Matthew, also Mark.)
Utterances we count as seven
all had been meted out and heard
by those who stood bereft of Heaven
under a midday sky struck dark.

Wordless, the Word poured out a cry
that racked creation through and through.
When all that death could do was done,
when the Undying dared to die,
Heaven and earth were fused as one.
The Temple’s veil was torn in two.