It was a Friday afternoon
But the day had not been marked
out for crucifixion
Because the sky was not black
And I, a professional Simon, was
rushing off to celebrate
Already done with my week’s work
Of helping others carry crosses.
That’s why I was so surprised
That you stopped me in high daylight
And wrestled a cross into full view
Letting it writhe live
The struggle you could not articulate.
I tried to wrestle words
Onto your cross
When your pain wanted only a towel
To accept and soothe
And blot away, if only temporarily,
The pain that pulses from wound.
I will never forget your face
Neither will Veronica
Left with the towel, a shroud
Impressed, stamped, indelible
With the pain and the beauty
Of the suffering incarnate Christ.