Contemplating Jesus


Posted on by Lucinda M. Vardey



I open up 
as dawn breaks
over the far hills.
It’s a small shop —
wine, clay pots,
baskets, shawls
and beads.
My husband sleeps late
but I’m an early bird.

It’s not a usual day
this day.
Why do I open anyway?
Because a merchant
never knows
who might pass by
and buy…..
A gamble it is
to close,
and still
I try not to frown
at those
who take away
my customers.

It’s dark in the alley
we call a street.
Rain falls
upon the awnings,
I sort my wares
and lay
a display
around the steps.
No one’s about.
A distant shout,
a dog sniffs for scraps.

I keep myself private.
I like to work,
not waste my mouth
on idle chat.

A thunderclap
startles me —
my nerves are raw —
I don’t know why.


I’m not at home
as usual
doing dishes,
cleaning up.
I’m sitting in the shop
rocked unsteady.
They killed a good man
not a brigand,
a swindler or a thief.
Beaten and bruised
he passed by,
I only met his mother’s eye.
They said he was a healer,
full of peace I saw,
a prophet —
God above us —
how could this be?

The day of deserving
what crimes they’ve done
is changed in my mind,
when they start to kill
the gentle and the kind.

I leave my wares
and walk
towards the hill
to look
where I would never look before
at others’ sufferings,
the stares and jeers.

Wind blows
this empty grave
his blood
upon the wood,
I reach to touch
where his feet were nailed.
a shiver creeps within. 

I sit alone
at the base of the cross,
look out at the view
he saw.
The sun breaks through
the heavy clouds
and shines upon the town.

I could stay here all night
such peace was in my heart.

I stand and lean against the wood
stretch wide my arms like his,
a bird I feel
free and light,
about to take its
beginning flight. 



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