Though the state would pardon, the religious insist on his death
by crucifixion, and thus he takes up the tree,
the weight of which brings him to his knees;
helped to his feet, he meets his mother bereft
of her son, the holy sacrifice;
Simon takes the cross; Christ’s eyes are wiped.
Stumbling, he reaches out to Jerusalem’s women.
A final fall; soldiers strip his woven
cloak. The comes the bloody nailing,
the painful death of the saving scapegoat.
Placed first in the arms of Mother Mary wailing,
then wrapped in pure white linen graveclothes
and laid in the tomb where he is to rest and wait,
watched by angels until his rising day.
T. Allen Culpepper