We raise our hands: you sever them at the wrist.
We spread out our arms: you measure us for a cross.
Where do we turn? Our fingers bleed from scratching
our skulls in bewilderment. They catch on the thorns
you so thoughtfully provided. Stigmata? No, you haven’t
nailed us yet. Great barbed hooks penetrate our bellies,
inflaming our guts. Like live bait, threaded to tempt Leviathan,
we squirm. Like butterflies prepared for your chloroform jar,
we tremble. Your collector’s pin is poised: we await the final thrust
that will skewer our bodies and frame us under glass for ever.
Another Golden Oldie, also from Broken Ghosts (Goose Lane, 1986). I have changed the line lengths slightly, from the original. I also altered one word in the last line. I often read this poem round about Good Friday. It presents me with the threatening menace of an end to everything we know and love, eternal butterflies, framed forever, without the joy of resurrection.