The First Woman Speaks: on her way to the tomb at dawn
I needed one last look,
a chance to smooth your blanket,
touch your cheek
and press my lips against your hand.
I wanted to straighten up a bit,
put things in order
and I guess
see for myself that you were dead.
Who is to tell what you were to me
how I found power in your glance
and freedom at your feet
and, say it,
How I loved you so.
Me so timid, awkward,
eager to please.
It was like falling in love for the first time.
I was dizzy with the joy of it.
It is true I loved you the most
for what I became in your presence…
happier, braver, stronger.
Now do I mourn more
the loss of the self you gave me
than for you?
How your aliveness
gave me definition, clarity, and sense!
What was dormant and stunted
took root and bloomed.
I could have knelt forever before you
in that quiet way
sipping sanctity like wine.
Now I falter at death’s grim behest,
to slam against the stillness of your chest.
Dare I invade you
with my gaze?
Death’s shroud uncovers all.
Dare I view holiness
in such a feeble state?
Dare I behold the dark veins of your wrists
frozen as winter twigs?
Forgive me when the oil
disturbs the tangled sleep
of all the hairs upon your breast.
May I not faint
~ from Quem Quaeritis (Whom Are You Seeking) A Reader’s Drama for Easter by L.F. Ross
On your walk to the tomb, expecting to find a corpse, do not let your assumptions about what is over and dead prevent your seeing the fullness of your emptiness. Savor the love that has brought you to this place. Honor the holiness that has passed through your life. Greet the unexpected stranger.
And may you not faint to place your palm upon such beauty.