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Your gown falls fold on fold, Mary, full
of shadows softening your odd proportions.
You sit all wrong, holding Jesus’ body,
his large frame draped across your too-wide lap.
Your over-sized right hand supports his shoulder.
You turn your left hand upward, open, empty.
On the rocks of Golgotha you cradle
his figure—still, and warm. You do not cry.
You do not rage. Softly, you gaze downward,
your marble visage youthful and untroubled.
Tears blur my vision. Your face, forever calm,
bobs up and down. Anger burns my throat.
Or grief. When I faced my son’s bent, cold frame,
I hurled thunder at the heavens.
Mother of God, wail. Grieve the death
of this, your son, as I have for mine.
Or, give me peace, your sacred mystery.
Give me grace. Let it be unto me.

—Susan Spear

Photo by Dennis Jarvis via Creative Commons. Image cropped.