9-23 The Crown On The Skull

(This is in my Amazon book Jesus Through A Poet’s Lens. See petervenable.com)

The Crown on the Skull

What kind of God? Carlos, four is a pharaoh mummy
wrapped in a hospital sheet, trampled by Leukemia’s horde.
Widow Mary, today sixty-five, is bludgeoned, defiled.
Her hand-stitched quilt is blood-splotched.
Darker days to come.

What kind of God?
Pounding, pounding, the worn mallet
drives iron spikes flesh deep, wood deeper.
Nails mark hideous symmetry.
Cross wood for crossbones, the rack
is raised against grisly clouds.
His mouth, a dried gourd, is bitter
from manwood’s venom.
Fly legions, biting ants, rupturing tissues,
sun fever. Finish it! At midafternoon,
the smoldering wick goes out; a last
wisp of smoke vanishes in bloodshot skies.
Manwood’s shadow wears a darkened hood,
draping the place of the skull,
and if it were possible,
the bones of memory.

What kind of God? Two days pass.
Dawn’s golden sash flutters from red-tipped borders.
First Breath breathes. Light awakes,
rises from the mouth of the pit and blazes
through shadows inside every tomb.

Spring unveils duck-egg-blue skies,
rising green blades, honeysuckle breezes,
cottontails bobbing over clover swells,
and forever Easter shine:
constellation-dappled crowns for
the Carlos’s and Mary’s of the world.

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