a word of need

For Lent. Week five.
From a sonnet cycle, based on the seven sayings of the cross.

Later, knowing that all was completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips.
John 19:28-29

There was cheap wine, a sponge, a stick—
sometimes Roman soldiers offered it
to men whose throats were choked with blood,
much too weak and parched to even spit.
So perhaps a stranger in the crowd
who, puzzled at the anger of the mob,
(perhaps a Galilean Christ had healed)
was moved by Mary’s soft and anguished sobs.
But someone braved the jokes and jabs and jeers
who knew the Living Water had run dry;
He turned and quickly ran to find the wine,
listening close enough to hear Christ cry
“I am thirsty. ” A simple, anguished need.
For love is not a word. It is a deed.

©2001, Wally Metts

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