Poems for Holy Week (VI)
When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jewish leaders did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down. The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other. But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water.
The wine severs in its descent.
How long has it been poured
before spilling in grisly torrents
down your chin? It rends you as it rides
this seismic current from heaven
to earth until it finds the spear’s slit.
Until now each dove and lamb
were fingers plugging holes
in the most impossible dam.
But you are the burst wall
so water and blood gush eternal—
you break to effect the impossible
turning of the most impossible tide.
Come. Put your hand into my side.
-Sarah Crowley Chestnut