Isobel DeGruchy of South Africa has written a villanelle for Good Friday. I’m sharing it early for those who might want to include in in church worship or devotions.
I Watch as Soldiers Hang my Friend up High
I watch as soldiers hang my friend up high,
With other women who had followed him,
My heart and spirit breaks to watch him die.
He is so full of love and goodness, why
Is he now hanging, nails through every limb,
Pierced through as soldiers hang my friend up high?
With him, each side, they hang two thieves who cry,
One curses, one sees something more in him,
My heart and spirit breaks to watch them die.
He is derided , mocked by passers-by,
Who shout, “Get off the cross if you are king!”
I watch, they watch my friend who hangs up high.
At noon a darkness fills both land and sky,
He cries out loud, God has forsaken him.
My heart and spirit break to watch him die.
He breathes his last with one long anguished cry,
It’s finished, I thought, feeling numb and grim.
I watched as soldiers hung my friend up high.
My heart and spirit broken now he’s died.
Isobel’s book reflecting on Julian of Norwich will be coming out in an American version in March released by the Paulist Press. The ISBN number is 978-0-8091-4858-5. It has a lovely cover, new for this version. This cover is from the British version .