The Rosary Poems: Sorrowful Alison Shaffer


Saying to him, “Hail, King of the Jews!” they
struck him with their hands.” JOHN 19:3

Our yes! punctures flesh,
thorn-thrilled crown circling his
eyes, lovely ruined temples
sanguine wet above a body draped
thick in bruised purple—swollen,
he draws in everything: our blame,
directionless, our very hearts
abandoning us—there is no stopping
it, no restraining what cries leap
throbbing from our tongues.


February 2005 2River