It’s often just a small detail in the shiny story
about Jesus and the mountain –
getting to talk to folks
who have been gone a long time.
I would like Harriet Tubman, please,
to walk and talk with me.
I want Langston Hughes,
dreams deferred in a still small voice.
Heck, I want Mark Twain,
Shakespeare and Emily Dickinson,
Susan B. Anthony, Cesar Chavez,
and Rosa Parks.
I promise not to hold on
to these remarkable visitors –
(I gave up booth-building
a long time ago.)
and like Jesus, I also want my Mama.
And Oscar Romero. And some places are holy, and we do build “booths.”Transfiguracion del Divino Salvador del Mundo, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. The Cathedral site is the place where the old Temple of Santo Domingo (dedicated to St. Dominic) once stood. An even greater toll was exacted on Palm Sunday, March 30, 1980, during the funeral of Saint Óscar Romero (assassinated Monday, March 24, 1980, while celebrating Mass at a small chapel located in a hospital called “La Divina Providencia”), when 44 people were killed during a stampede after some elements, allegedly members of security forces (although it has never been corroborated) fired on mourners and Romero’s funeral cortege. Later, the square in front of the cathedral was the site of rapturous celebrations after the signing of the Chapultepec Peace Accords that ended the Salvadoran Civil War in 1992. The cathedral was completed and inaugurated on March 19, 1999, and finished off with a festive tiled facade by the Salvadoran master Fernando Llort.