A Cloud on Good Friday

April 14, 2006

A figure floating across sky.
A Good Friday figure floating across sky.
Falling or rising? Descent or resurrection?

easter_spiral

If Dying Means Becoming Pure Spirit

Then I think it must be like falling,
that giving-up of the body.
Who wouldn’t try to catch hold
of something fast, jerk forward, reaching
with the fingers spread, before the hands
were gone, before the arms
disappeared?

I could never willingly withdraw
from my ribs, pull out of the good bars
and cage, leave the marrow, the temple
of salt, of welling and subsiding, abandon
complacently the swallow, the tongue, the voice.

How could I regard a crab apple
flustered with long-stalked blossoms
or a sycamore hung with nutlets and tufts,
with no face to catch the shadow-splatter
of their limbs and leaves? How could I apprehend
mixed fields of cordgrasses and barleys,
with no breath to detect the scent
of their sedges and clefts?

Even though it’s said the spirit
is weightless, still, I think it must be
like falling a terrible fall,
to leave the body, to speed away
backwards, cut off from the humming
a cappella of pines, the skeltered
burring of grasshoppers, from the fragrances
of low wood fires beside a river, clean
ice on stalks of cattail and rye, lost
to the purple spice of scattered
thunders, no belly left to feel
the wide, easy range of the earth.

I admit to being angry
and frightened tonight at the thought
of such a plummeting.

Pattiann Rogers

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