February 21, 2012

Jesus Naked in a Sacred Circle


JESUS NAKED IN A SACRED CIRCLE

Michael Coffey




You are my beloved son said
the father into his wet ears

as he came up out of Jordan mud water
out of chaos out of death out of yesterday

only to be whooshed off into tomorrow
still dripping and cold shocked and gasping

into wilderness where if he survives and is hardened
if he resists if he lets go if he inhales spirit

temptation will come like a pesky fly
and a mere slow hand wave will move it along

and gut growls will teach him to hunger
and parched dry throat to thirst

for all the right things in the right way
and not fear the hunger the thirst the teaching

the unfinished business that cannot be perfected
in this life not in time not in space not in body

so I wonder as he sat in his sacred circle naked
and let the wild beasts teach him and holy messengers tend him

did he know the wilderness was only the beginning
and everything after would tempt him all over again

to safety to comfort to grasping after certitudes
when God would only offer silence

on the road in the garden on the bloody hillside
in the cry in the abandonment in the false hope

did he know this during the forty days
or did he imagine he would find an easier path

perhaps work for a down payment on a Nazarene cottage
and whittle toys in the evening by the fire

sitting there whistling an old tune
as a fly lands on his cheek and will not move

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