Poem for Two Voices

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“Poem for Two Voices,” Ensign, Aug. 1980, 45

Poem for Two Voices

(first voice)

(second voice)

Three crosses on a hill;

turgid air and still,

spear-pointed sun

shone on,

“Father, forgive them”

bloodied fingers plaiting thorns.

His brow sweat tears, blood for blood;

contorted shoulders,

suffering for mankind,

agony of all our hells,

abyss beyond our knowing,

He donned our transgression like a cloak;

three sixes won his robe.

Dice-tossing men won,

lost, and swore

beneath his feet.

“My God, my God. …”

His father wept,

knowing, for our sakes,

he must ignore.

A tremor stopped their play.

(both voices)

Rending tremors, heaven echoing

across the world,

rock falling upon rock,

cold sea seething boiling-pot,

mountains to valleys,

towns to ash,

sea cascading,

desert drowning,

earth foundering,

and peace.

Three crosses on a hill

and shadows lengthening to fill

a life

a world,

a universe,

a heart.

“… finished!”

Or about to start.