Not With Easter Lilies

I wrote this last year for Easter.  Today is Maundy Thursday.  Maundy comes from the Latin for “mandate” or “commandment.”  Enjoy.   There’s an updated version here as well that I’ve used at broken liturgy.

Not With Easter Lilies | Christopher Cocca

Lent, from the German Lenz,
is just spring.
The Dutch have lente,
but, after their teachers,
our theologians capitalize.

These words mean long
like the days,
and Easter,
a proper noun,
is disputed.

Maundy is from Latin,
Middle English,
Old French.
It is commandment:
love ye as I have.

Gethsemane is oil press
in Christ’s native tongue
and Calvary comes somehow from
in Aramaic,
You are perhaps Adam’s bed,
gaudy shrine.

But why seek ye the living
in dead boneyard must?
Why shroud in purple,
why cower in black?
Woman, why are you crying?
Beloved, why should you weep?
There is no pomace in
God’s bladder press.

We have not killed again
that seed
Nor do we resurrect him,
Not at sunrise in accordance with
lost circles of the moon,
not in sweet wine or with flat bread
or  leaven.

And so then let us stop pretending
that we follow with him,
that we know the cold stone
and have not seen its end.
There is no holy pantomime,
no birth-right rhythm drama;
there is only living.

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