Wednesday, May 4, 2011

On the Cross

A town is not its deity
Its palace, perennially dry river,
Well-planned streets
Always taking you to a temple tower
Dust hanging in the air like haze
Or hatred simmering across generations
Waiting to spill blood,
It is not its eateries
Open round the clock
For a famished place
Which never stops feeding
Or can ever go to sleep
With avenging furies
Their hair let loose
For a blood vow
Stalking their quarry
Praying for less-planned ways
That will not lead him back to his hunters,
A town is not its officials
With whom you have little to do
As they can do little
Not its bravehearts who will not baulk at murder
Stare at you from cutouts and flex banners
Not its walking spaces where hired assassins
Lie in wait at dawn ---
It is only a chapel porch
Where you sit, with no one around
But the bleeding trees,
And cry like
Christ on the Cross
"Father, why did you abandon me!"

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