Twilight On Friday Evening

[for my friend, Craig Newman]


(after Mark 15:40)


The place was Golgotha, called Calvary

by Romans who had just, there, put to death

a young Rabbi---Jesus of Nazareth:

scourged to the bone before, then crucified,

he lasted only six short hours, and died.

I lingered.  Ghoulish curosity

compelled me as they took his body down

clad only in that garish, twisted crown

of thorns the soldiers made.  Then two men put

a linen shroud around him.  Women who

had followed him here, out of Galilee

(no crowds of thousands, now, only these few)

wept---not loud, but with quiet dignity.

Unnoticed, I was quite surprised to see,

with them, Herod's stepdaughter, Salome

clad in the manner of the peasantry

(and just below her long skirt's hem, barefoot),

beyond the sluggish reach of Antipas
(who likely had no clue to where she was);

so beautiful in all her fifteen years

(despite the horrors of this troubled day)

sobbing---softly---big adolescent tears.







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