I huddle at the foot of the Cross.
My arms stretch to encompass it around--
my head bowed,
eyes pinched so tightly they hurt.
Silent sobs wrack my being.
The men are gone.
The Brotherhood, save one, has forsaken the Master.
Other women stand,
lie prostrate nearby,
I hear their weeping off in the distance,
at the perimeter of my own sorrow.
Roman soldiers stand silent,
trying to understand,
yet bound merely to duty.
cluster together and mutter into their self-righteous beards,
rehearsing their excuses.
Their mumbling blends, segues
into the rumbling of a gathering storm.
Messiah, on the Cross, lifts His head to Heaven.
With one last lingering remnant of strength,
He pushes against the spike that impales His feet,
pulls up on the nails that pierce His wrists,
draws in a gurgling breath,
licks His lips to moisten them, to make speech possible,
And cries out to the Father Whose Face is turned away.
"It is finished!"
A pronouncement that will echo throughout Eternity.
I look up as His weary, abused head
sinks to His bosom,
where so many children had rested their heads
and received His blessing.
A drop of His vermillion Blood
rolls down one of the thorns
that comprises a crude crown.
In one interminable moment,
I watch it
I tip my face downward in shame,
knowing my own unworthiness,
yet yearning for His anointing.
That Sacred Drop
Splashes on my head and covers me o'er.
A mourning veil shrouds the sky.
Night invades midday.
The Earth begins to tremble.
Copyright 2007 by Sharon Kirk Clifton