Holy Rood

Calvary

Felled from an olive trunk near Galilee
Hewed into solid planks they fashioned me
A rugged cross on Golgotha to stand
To crucify the felons of their land.

I’d often felt their villain’s blood run down
To drench my length while visitors from town
Nearby would come to have these entertain
Them by their writhing agonies and pain.

This man was different. Hated by the crowd –
Indifferent to His suffering. Uncowed
By His tormenters. When I felt his weight
I noticed He did not return their hate.

He lay against my seasoned wood to die.
An innocent – contented there to lie
Because He played out a much bigger plan.
I sensed now: He was one peculiar man.

He prayed for those who hammered in the nails.
He forgave them! Above the womens’ wails
I heard Him cry to God – the Lord of earth.
And when He died: I witnessed what came forth –

The earth shook. Graves were opened: risen dead
Poured into streets and confirmed what He said:
He was God’s Son! He’d died upon this cross!
And in my wooden beams I felt His loss.

His body taken down with onerous care.
I left alone – mute witness standing there
Of every minute of His agony.
Of His curse-breaking – while hung on my tree.

So I became the blood-soaked cross of wood
But from that time also: the Holy Rood.
A treasured relic sought through lands and time
Because I held the Saviour’s hands in mine.

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