This Death

This Death

It has been said
Death and taxes
Are the only certainties
Of existence

But this death
This death is like no other

A crowd
Heads bowed
A haphazard
Of bystanders
Friends, family

Holding their collective breath

Three hours of dark
The sun stops shining
No shadow edge
No shimmer
No silver lining
Darkness everywhere
Like someone switched off
The light of the world

Sudden movement
At the Temple
As the curtain draped
Between the worldly
And the Holy
Tears in two
Now hanging
Perfectly open

In the long darkness
The silence
Finally breaks

“Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”

A soldier
Seeing with clear eyes
Praises God
For this righteous man

And we know, don’t we,
Of course we know
We’ve read and watched and lived
Two thousand years’ of spoilers
Of stones rolled away
And empty tombs
And Mary’s master
And Thomas’s doubts
And paper thin excuses
To eat hollow chocolate eggs

But for now

In that last exhale
In the long silence
In the gloom of unexpected darkness
And grief-torn hearts
And a slow walk home

Hold this weight
This grief
This death
And stay here a while

In the magnitude
Of this moment
As the world
The universe
All of existence
Tilts on its axis
Adjusts to the new reality
Of a different certainty

Holds its collective breath
And waits

Originally published on The Fuelcast, 7 April 2023