For Simon, all thoughts of a fairly good day
From plaza's edge, excited shouts pulled him along
into an uphill human flow
of stony paths and shoving shoulders
straining for a view, a cheer,
or what for some produced a tear.
The messy sludge of sweaty cretins,
the dutiful squad of armed employees
and scattered threads of compassioned panickers
poured unnaturally upwards,
and within it, Simon somehow found himself
stuck to its adhesion to the convict.
Then his growing, tranced fixation with this
was broken by the vulgar snap
of soldier's bark at him,
demanding that he "step out".
Pushed toward the fallen one,
he beheld a sorrowful excuse for
what once housed a human being;
pushed toward this saturated
trunk of red-slicked lumber flat upon its victim.
Ordered loud to lift and drag the
rough and slimy crossbeam,
he tugged it for the criminal
who through tightly slitted, soppy eyes,
simply turned, to look at him.
Simon later could not say how long it took to climb
the deafening and horrific trek
from there to Golgotha,
for he was hung in time with this
crippled, dragging man as they
sloughed on and on and on.
Til finally, the thudded crumpling of
these men and timbers fell into the aged, rancid,
mud which had repeatedly, tirelessly,
passionlessly tasted justice;
Simon, on his knees with him,
again looked over at this one.
He could not mask his puzzlement when finding there,
within those tortured sockets
a seasoned, momentary stare
which burdened him with more than simply gratitude;
rather, imparted still,
an unencumbered gentleness displayed without regret,
a peaceful weave of innocence and silent heroism,
or so it seemed to him.
While future years left Simon with a blur of some details,
he will not forget that look, that of this dying alien man
who thanked him with his eyes,
and who alone,
sent terror through the town that afternoon
when there, before he breathed his last
as dark was just to fall,
whispered words which scorched the heavens
as a Holy fire.
Horror's blackness killed the sun;
in that darkness, screaming shrieks
caught men without their minds
as violent and wobbled grounds
ruptured buildings with a crash,
hurled humans to their venal faces.
Then, as he could find each step,
Simon ran a staggered flight away, and more away
until all that he would see
were those still piercing, dying eyes.
Today, Simon becomes quiet
when he talks about this thing
and slowly fingers on his knee
a fading crooked scar made when he, too,
had stumbled on that rocky craggled road.
Then, he will go on to share the fullness of the story,
where he found the hope he has
and all that happened since;
careful to remind how this was all begun;
one day when he was not looking,
God showed up and found him simply
standing in the crowd.
Copyright (c) 2007 Gary Brown