XIII. Jesus Is Taken Down from the Cross

This morning, I hauled to the street
A heavy wooden pallet, so beat
The workmen had left it behind:
Its boards, rough-hewn and splintering
Against the asphalt. When I leaned
It on the dumpster, with some twine
And flattened cardboard boxes, too,
For the trash-man, a March gust blew
And overturned what I had built.
The hard wood clattered on the road
And split, exposed its secret load
Of bent and rusted nails, now spilled,
Scattered like seeds, like teeth and bones,
Awaiting tires, the feet of those
Too lost in song to watch their step.
One nail stared up from the cracked wood.
I plucked it out, just as they would
Who returned you to your mother’s lap.
Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

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

Rohingya refugees wait to receive aid Sept. 21 at a camp in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh. (CNS photo/Cathal McNaughton, Reuters)
This year the Grand Bargain on refugees seems increasingly fragile.
Kevin ClarkeSeptember 22, 2017
Residents mourn on Sept. 20 for the 11 victims killed in a church in Atzala, Mexico, during the Sept. 19 earthquake. A Catholic bishop in Mexico said the situation was extremely serious, and much aid would be needed. (CNS photo/Imelda Medina, Reuters)
The earthquake feels like yet another crisis tearing at our transnational families. The earthquake was a natural disaster, but the many ways American society fails to value the lives of foreigners, of immigrants, of its own citizens, because of their skin color or their Latino heritage is a
Antonio De Loera-BrustSeptember 22, 2017
“It is good to rediscover our history and welcome the diversity of the people in the United States.”
J.D. Long-GarcíaSeptember 22, 2017
These photos were taken August 16, 1920, at St. Elizabeth's Hospital for the Insane. Salmon had been on a hunger strike for 34 days. (National Archives and Records Administration via the website BenSalmon.org)
The courageous witness of 'unarmed prophet' Ben Salmon—precisely one century ago—anticipated a major development in Catholic doctrine on war and peace,.
Barry HudockSeptember 22, 2017