Two Mothers

Two Mothers

‘Twas late. Christ’s weary mother stood alone,

peering with lighted lantern thro’ the gloom –

Love’s farewell vigil of the day’s long watch.

“What sorrow, Son, can equal to mine own?”

From out the dark into the lantern’s light,

as to a ray of God’s all-pitying grace,

a sobbing stranger came: “My son is dead.”

And she, whose bosom pillowed Bethlehem

and the dank brow beneath the ruthless Cross,

pillowed the mother’s head where his had lain,

her soul now riven with a double grief.

“My only Son today was crucified.”

The lightning showed the silhouetted hill;

her heart and sense again were drenched in pain.

“And He was fair – ”

The stranger scanned her face, his face, before the thorns.

“I know. My son trod grapes with Him ‘ mid Nazareth’s happy hills –

and I since Daniel’s weeks had run their course,

hoped Him the promised One of Israel,

and that my child could sit beside his throne.

But he is dead.”

Again the crosses stood

gaunt in the ghastly pallor of the sky.

“His Kingdom is not hence; look to his Cross.”

“I cannot look but off into the dark.”

The wild eyes stared where intermittent flash

blue-printed cliff and lonely withered tree

where hung a fetid fruit that once was man.

The pitying dark stooped down to cloak her cry:

“I am the mother of Iscariot.”

Two Mothers – By Alexander J. Cody, SJ