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Poetry

But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb….
—John 20

She came to take care of the body.
Some are like that.
They feel the need to touch and handle
_____where life was.
We call it seeking closure.
We call it clinging.
We call it having difficulty facing reality;
the reality that life itself
_____has left this body we have come to care for.
Ah, reality. Is he gone?
Yes.
Really?
He is no longer here.
He was no longer there, in the body
she had come to care for over the too few years
_____that she and the others had accompanied him,
_____that had returned to her
__________her own body
from the more than a few years of her former life,
years he had nevertheless embraced
_____without shame or judgment.
Who are you, really? she had asked.
She had not seen death coming, until afterwards:
_____the legally proceeding, swift, unexpected
_____(though not accidental), purposefully prolonged
_____public draining of a human life from a human body,
or the few excruciating hours that were, in the end
so much like the days and hours leading to her own death,
_____the death of her life before him,
_____that she had also not seen coming,
that she did not see it coming.
Where is he?
Where is he now?
She came to show the love, honor, respect, dignity
_____and solidarity that had been shown her,
that it had not been possible to show earlier,
_____given the circumstances of his death,
but he was not there. She was afraid,
and her terror cracked the stone of grief,
_____releasing her voice.
Why are you weeping?
How should she begin to tell the loss?
_____We lived in an abundance of love,
_____but violence endures, death empties.
Whom do you seek?
I am looking for my brother.
_____I am my murdered brother’s keeper.
She was looking for the one who had moved so deeply
_____into her own story
that she could not see him standing before her,
_____supposing him to be the gardener….
If you know where he is
then you know the story.
If you know where he is
then you know she was never more naked,
_____and not ashamed,
_____than at this moment.
If you know where he is,
_____tell me.
Mary.
Her own name spoken
_____rolls away the stone.
There is no separation.
She ran to raise her friends.


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