Two Lenten Poems

it’s lent, which means no
meat on fridays. that’s alright though; see
there’s fish on fridays in the school gymnasium.
friday’s fry day, get it? an entire catholic school of fish —
i could go on, but why waste words in this season of sacrifice?
lent is no time for excess. we feast on fillets and dinner rolls and
pies and cakes, unless we’ve sworn these things away, or sometimes
despite. we should be fasting, right? to show solidarity with each other
and with Christ, who spent forty days in the desert with
the devil, as though it weren’t already hot enough.
that’s the idea, isn’t it? the man took nails for us,
thorns, jeers, spittle, and for six weeks we stop
buttering our bread except on sundays.
he died; we live lent like broken
resolutions looking to lose
weight when what we
seek is significance —
we fast to gain.

j. thorp
18 feb 02


Christ Child
We are seated at the station in which
a man holds Jesus by the shoulders
while another swings the sledge.
I can see the gears are turning —
are they the bad men? why should they
do this? He would tell them to be
nice and they would listen, like the
ones who flew the planes and broke
the buildings. He would go to their
homes; knock on their doors, and say,
“Be nice,” and he would not
complain the whole trip he says.
Behind the altar Christ is risen, but
in our home he bleeds — a splintered
tree; a humbled God. The procession
passes. He sees what we see —
the cross, the Christ, his arms spread
wide — and more deeply. Softly he
prophesies, “Jesus has wings!” and
His vision is revealed.

J. Thorp
06 Jan 02

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