Once Upon a Christ (A Palm Sunday Reflection)

Yesterday was Palm Sunday. We began the service outside, crying “Hosanna!” and waiving palm branches in an empty parking lot. We continued the liturgy inside, engaged in a responsive reading that culminated with the people–with me–yelling “crucify him!”

That service gave birth to this poem.


If once upon again, a Christ came
on a donkey’s colt over river bridge
and into marketplace, capitol square,
or the enormity of Sunday’s sanctuary,
would the rows ring with Hosannas,
the joy of prophecies personified?


would there be only dry dreams
of fading green palms waiving in
the brittle memories of old men,
and the fading leaves of recorded myth?
Would the ghosts of fickle faith
hush or be hushed, know their hushing?
Would the powers, politicians, priests
mock their ancestors’ fear-filled charge?
“You see that you are gaining nothing.
Look, the world has gone after him.”*

*John 12:19


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