Holy Week: Passover pilgrim

Only men need to go to Jerusalem
for Passover,
but Mary went
as often as she could,
usually for safety with other Nazarenes
since her Joseph died.

She was there all this week —
saw the parade,
heard about the fig tree.
(Really, Joseph — all carpentry
and no outdoor play
leads to inplanticide.)

Mostly she loved to watch him
in the Temple — not the tantrum
(and that was her fault,
too much singing Magnificat
when he was little) —

but the amazing week of teaching —
authority and taxes
and even the resurrection —

there was nothing he couldn’t answer
about God
by the time he was twelve.

She remembered
being so proud and so very afraid.

Mary felt his eyes on her
as she offered two copper coins.
She had more,
enough for the return trip,
so she didn’t understand why he said —

she put in everything she had.

God, being en-familied
is pride and irritation,
joy, memory, and being so afraid.

Hold us,
that we may ready our knees
pieta
to hold your pain
in the bodies of those endangered today.
amen.

Emanuel Max, Prague

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