Eastern OrthodoxPoetry

When You Give Death Its Sting

When you give death its sting
And it is finished
Nothing left but darkness and torn curtains
And a bloody mess

You’ve crucified Christ afresh
And you’re both hanging dead
How do you get to the resurrection?
What gets you both down?

Joseph and Nicodemus came sorrowful
Begging for the body
Can you feel that sorrow, too
For your Lord’s death for you?

When you realize you have killed him
And so have no life
Can you put him in your tomb instead
A place to lay his head?

Imagine the sorrow of secret lovers
Burying their loved one
At night when lovers’ trysts are had
And where lovers often meet

You wrap him in your baptismal gown
And it becomes clean
You wash his broken body and
Are covered in his blood

You place him where your dead body
Lies in the mad moonlight
And sit with your guardian angel
And await the good news

And only when you enter the garden
With your bitter tears
Growing the fruits of repentance
Does the Gardener reveal himself

And in this resurrection
You see death is destroyed
Only by death on the cross
And you get on, too.

Kenneth O'Shaughnessy

Kenneth O'Shaughnessy

A Northerner by upbringing, Kenneth has lived in the South since his (first) college days. After returning to college, he began to do more than just dabble with writing, and has self-published a children's picture book, a middle-reader's book, and several collections of poetry. Baptized in the Roman Catholic church, raised in the fundamentalist Baptist church, and having spent time in the Reformed Baptist church, Kenneth settled down in the Eastern Orthodox church in 2006.

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