Testament

  after Colm Tóibín

Why would it surprise
that she was human, as he was:
frightened, appalled, already grieving
what would mark the beginning
of the end of her son’s life.
This was before time existed.
His disciples were rough. Reckless.
Mary was a woman.
And it was comforting, wasn’t it,
to see her suffer the way we suffer, hollowed out
like an olive tree standing alone, somehow estranged
from the grove outside Gethsemane
gutted by the sudden wind, not emptied
for anything better or more transcendent, burnished by life
and hung up to dry in the white wilderness.

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