Emmaus

Spring is his burden, and the night, a robe: livid
as poppies in a roadside wrap, facing the dying weather.
Spring is the furrow on his shoulder swathe,
between the neck and forearm.
 
Thus was the intimation right: a savior comes
out of Jerusalem, with pericardial thread
to make a heart’s claim: that history bears his thumb,
that saints soak up their suppers,
 
while the food, redolent on the table, aches for his hands.
And so he stops,
shuffling between a bramble and a gate, making as if
to leave, as if in earnest—
 
which means uncertainty rings true:
the crooked arm—come near—the branch that either
bleeds or flowers, the trickle fog.
Ah, how the stars gallop off one another,
 
betting whether the men might, might not, will, will not
quiver the lock, set plates and cups and saucers.
The day is nearly over.
The moon, struck briefly mute, takes heart—
Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

The news from Ireland and the United States reminds us of Herod, of Pharaoh. What culture betrays its children?
The EditorsMay 26, 2018
A woman religious casts her ballot May 25 in Dublin as Ireland holds a referendum on its law on abortion. Voters went to the polls May 25 to decide whether to liberalize the country's abortion laws. (CNS photo/Alex Fraser, Reuters)
The repeal of Ireland's Eighth Amendment, which guarantees the right to life of the unborn, has passed with a nearly 2-1 margin.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos testifies at a House Committee on Education and the Workforce, Tuesday, May 22, 2018, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
The Secretary of Education stirred up controversy when she said it was up to schools to decide if an undocumented student should be reported to authorities.
J.D. Long-GarcíaMay 25, 2018
Thousands gathered in Dublin May 12 to say "Love Both" and "Vote No" to abortion on demand. They were protesting abortion on demand in the forthcoming referendum May 25. (CNS photo/John McElroy)
“Priests and bishops get verbal abuse by being told, ‘How can you speak for women? You don’t know what it’s like!’”
America StaffMay 25, 2018