Stations of The Cross 2010

Jesus Meets His Blessed Mother


of watchfulness, mother of pain, impassive, transfixed
in an upper window.
Ever resourceful, how did you get up there?
I watch my footing for a moment and, looking up,
there is nothing.
I watch my footing again and, looking up,
she stands before me,
crying, pleading for something,
torn from a tableau, turbulent in her own torment and time.
That it should come to this:
all the strange magic of the stable and the shepherds
and the kings and the elders in the Temple;
and the strange, miraculous happenings;
and the crowds finally bursting in
And yet it has come to this;
that a mother should suffer the worst fate,
watching her own son into the grave
while she has to wait.
But she knew all the time
- like most of us, domesticating the warning -
of the old man saying - as she told it, reluctantly
when I was leaving home -
that she would suffer for me.
I say: Mother" and she says: "Son";
and I say: "You know it was meant; the Prophets foretold".
"Yes, the death of holy heroes,
not of grieving mothers, growing old".
"I will be with you, mother."
"I know, sweet Jesus, on your golden throne;
but I will miss the muscle and the bone."
Then, seeing a blow descending,
she half turns with natural modesty
and, with a mother's face, losing all self-absorption
smiles that smile, she only kept for me.
Then she turns and weeps when she thinks I cannot see.  


Queen of Heaven, blessed mother,
she looks upon my passion with a pain like ecstasy,
sings her soul a faultless threnody,
hymns the climax of my peerless agony.
She looks as if to speak,
then knows how this would break the sacred thread;
she looks as if to touch, to move a lock of hair,
knowing that her touch will charge her dread.
The boundless comfort of mutual silence;
then she flinches as a fly settles on an open wound,
then re-composes herself;
she is the only one at present,
as I stand,
who sees past the scars and sordid treacheries
to the glory wrought in me;
what sweet sadness, what necessary searing,
what serene agony,
what sublime endearing.
I turn my face to the madness of the crowd,
to the turbulence of the people:
to the hatred so hot that it is almost inarticulate;
to the suffering so deep that it falters into monotonous keening;
to the stolidly blank,
weighing out parched corn as if nothing were happening;
to the children chasing an orange down the slope,
getting entangled in my feet;
and to the soldiers pushing against them up the hill.
I walk this way for something better for all of these;
and, as most of my beloved friends have fallen away,
only she knows now what they will know
when the Pentecostal wind begins to blow
and the Pentecostal flames begin to glow.
Hail! holy Queen of Heaven,
unlike any other born of woman,
blessed mother.