Details were remembered –
thorn of crowns, sponge with vinegar
the first meeting with Rufus and Alexander
whom they would know later,
the cry, a psalm confused with Elijah,
and the torn curtain.
They were picked out,
like the final stab of a needle
making a french knot,
and told again and again and again —
the way people do,
remembering holy inconsequentials
in any dying.
And then that evening.
after Joseph got back from his sad task,
Mary Magdalene behind him,
there was the wake.
disciples, looking scared over their shoulders,
the women who traveled with them —
they hid in the borrowed room,
and, again, like grieving people do,
began to tell the stories …
Do you remember the little girl he raised?
that wild man in the graveyard he healed,
and the pigs, all those pigs?
Creepy, how he walked on water,
but I’d give anything to see his ghost now.
Mary, what was he like as a boy?
Were the hosannas just last week;
the garden just last night?
How we would laugh. Pass the wine,
and cry too,
and try to puzzle out his parables.
If only we’d had a few more years.
No, it was enough.
It was more like a beginning of gospel,
less like theology –
crown of thorns, sponge of vinegar,
telling story after story after story
that could never die.