His limbs splayed, writhing, as he hung there,
Murmuring of a kingdom somewhere
The Roman guards had never been,

The sun beat on his darkened head.
He barely heard what the good thief said,
So swollen and plugged his ears were then.

“I thirst,” his mother heard him cry.
“Why have you left me here to die?”
But then, more lucid, “Here’s your son.”

He said that, looked from her to John,
Till they saw what was going on,
And all at once clouds hid the sun.

—James Matthew Wilson