Good Friday

Once a year, from 12 to 3, we sat in silence.
I didn’t understand it. My mother told me,
“A man is dying right now.”
Three hours seemed a long time;
it was absurd, and how could anyone die
in the sunshine of a mild spring?

That childhood innocence has fled:
I have seen casual horrors enacted
in daylight. They still do not compare
to that ancient violence made present.
They still do not compare to the
weight of the hammer in my hands.

Once a year, from 12 to 3, a God hangs, dying.
I sit in silence
and contemplate the things I now understand
and what I have done on a beautiful spring day.

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