02 April 2010
When at last it comes, it comes in silence;
With no thought for the one to whom it comes,
Or how a heart grieves itself and loved ones
With that last glimpse from its fading presence.
Yet it is intimate, the act of death,
To be so chosen, exposed and taken.
Nowhere untouched. But death wants you broken.
The soldiers must wait ages for your last breath.
With all the bright words, you are found out too,
In agony and terror in vaulted air,
Your mind bleached white by a wind from nowhere
That has waited years for one strike at you.
A slanted rain cuts across the black day.
It turns stones crimson where the cross is laid.
The Crucifixion © John O’Donohue. All rights reserved
From the collection "Rosary Sonnets" in John O'Donohue's larger collection, Connemara Blues
Image used by permission, Digital Image Archive, Pitts Theology Library, Emory University