The Womb of the Morning

(Written on Holy Saturday in Bicheno, Tasmania)

The oath must still hold true yet waiting dries expectation;
the dew of your youth evaporates in the tomb.
Now: what the LORD said to David’s Lord is unchanged,
but the rods of foes seem the triumphant ones today.
Only Pilate’s wife regrets the washing of hands; only women weep.
Only in secret do we take your body to its tomb.
In the morning, with spices and sorrow we will greet
your right hand and your nail-torn feet,
with your king’s footstool too heavy to roll away,
and something like morning tackling deadened hearts.
Drink by the brook as you wait, if you can;
silence might hold some promise in this night of nights.
Come dream.

Lent 46: Holy Saturday

Detail from Alexandre Bida, "Joseph of Arimathea Prepares Jesus for Burial"
Detail from Alexandre Bida, “Joseph of Arimathea prepares Christ for burial”

Down, they took his body down;

Joseph, Nicodemus took

him to the tomb reserved for him

and soldiers stood and watched.


There they stood; the soldiers stood,

to see what ruse might there unfold.

suspicious, victory not quite won,

the soldiers stood in wait.


Dark took hold, the sky asleep,

the faithful in their hiding holes,

only women weeping, with

firm vigil in their hearts.