Had Jesus, the Shepherd of sheperds,
been a bodily traveler among us
today, he might not have been able
to ride any plane, or cruiser, or bus
into the United States,
or to conquer any of its many hates.
What with his Asiatic visage
and sable skin,
compounded by his Bin Laden beard,
he would have had to dare
more than the fates.
Supposing he had entered the place,
aided by some technical subterfuge,
would he have recognized the New World
as love’s haven, or christian refuge?
The born-again, beefy giant
at the check-point tray
might have slapped the cuffs
on him even as he made his pliant
in unintelligible Aramaic huffs;
and no sooner than you think
he might have landed in Guantanamo Bay.
Once secured there, O Jesus,
answer me this:
would you have pleaded anew
‘father, forgive them;
they know not what they do?’
Or, would you, more realistically,
(as Luke has you say) express
your wrench and anguish thus:
‘father, why hast thou forsaken me’
in a glittering, golden wilderness
from whence the reigning evil one
decrees to demonise Creation
with dirty uranium and white phosphorus?
Easter thoughts in a lovely poem, forwarded to me by e-mail.