I was there, that shattering, sweltering day, you know
all those desolate, lonely, recriminating years ago
when they tortured, humiliated and crucified my son
that stable-born, questing boy, his teaching just begun.
My beloved, tender, playful, gifted child,
a leader, calm, charismatic, spirited, yet mild.
I saw the swirling, swishing, hissing whip slash crack
swinging with iron-tipped nails his torn and bleeding back.
I saw, yes heard, the smashed and splintered bone
as dutiful soldiers drove the thick, cruel, nails home.
I watched, sobbing, as the rough-hewn cross was raised
a thorned, spiked, bloody crown, a silhouette black blazed against a darkening, weeping, mourning purple sky.
I heard his lamenting cry – I saw him die.
Psalm verse and prayer
Heaviness may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.
Hear our prayers, o Lord, and have mercy upon us;
turn our heaviness into joy
and clothe us with gladness and salvation,
that we may give thanks to you for ever.