Friday, April 06, 2007

Poetry Friday: Good Friday For The Foreigner

So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself. The chief priests picked up the coins and said, "It is against the law to put this into the treasury, since it is blood money." So they decided to use the money to buy the potter's field as a burial place for foreigners. (Source: The Gospel According to Matthew).

Good Friday For The Foreigner
by Mitali Perkins


The news spreads through our tents and shacks like birdsong:
We have some soil.

It’s strewn with shards of ceramic,
broken bits of pots and cups,
clay of no use or value.
I’ll pick them up, clean the ground with my hands,
and make a holy place.
I’ll water the dirt with my tears.

Who paid for it?

The piles of bodies had grown, the stench,
disease adding more to the heap.
We begged, we cried, we pleaded:
We die, too. We are not just passing through.
No word. A civic silence.

Who spoke for us?

The coins were stained with blood, we're told.
They were useless, too, like the clay, like the dead.
Now our bones, blood, and flesh
will mingle with theirs under the ground.
An inheritance for our beloved.
I weep, and bury, and kneel,
and whisper my thanks to the Unknown.

2 comments:

  1. Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. - Good Friday

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  2. This is a wonderful poem. I have spent about four hours reading Good Friday poems over the last couple of days. John Donne's is the best. The "Strabat Mater," "At the Cross her Station Keeping," is second. But I have to say, your poem ranks up there with them. You take a powerful -- gospel focused -- perspective on this story. Taking what was intended for evil and turning it to Good.

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