Saturday, February 25, 2012


Mother to mother I understand
Your need to hold your son
To cradle him, hush his pain
Sing sweet psalms
of lullabies to him
When the wind soughs gently
from the east
I swear I hear your soft melodies.

And as cold as that cave was
Wherein they laid him down
It was no match
for the bone-deep chill
Death set upon his brow,
Echoed by the sculptor
When he chose
to immortalize you both
It surprises me not you would
feel a need
to warm him.
Mother to mother, I have
many times tried
to envisage
the pain you must
have endured
the day your son
was put to death
I cannot
Nor can I wrap
my mind
around the horror,
the devastating sadness
you must have felt
when you went
to the cave
To fetch him,
gather him
unto yourself

Oh - but that version
doesn't fit with any
of the Biblical accounts
I'm told ...
Oh really? I can't help
but reply
to whomever
the doubting
Thomas or whoever it is
questioning me ...
Were you there then?
Did you see what transpired
between mother and son?
Did you?

Did you hear the sobbing
as she begged
them to spare her son?
Ragged sobs that changed
to wails that eventually
rose to keening
His mother, and his aunt
who were joined
by other women -
all keening
throughout the night
A sound so eerie,
so heart-breaking it caused
grown men to weep
And wolves in the hills
to howl incessantly
As he hung there
on the hill, on the cross
dying slowly

Mother to mother I feel
your pain
And my heart aches
for you
and your loss
It disturbs me
that your complete story
is not recorded
In Biblical references,
However the apostle, John
did mention,
after all was said and done
and your boy was risen
there were many more signs
of his resurrection
so many
that all the books
in all the world
could not
contain them therein;
Perhaps your story is in these.
Mother to mother - one last thing
before I take my leave
You might not know this
but the artist who created
this magnificent sculpture
became very famous
People travel here
from the world over
to view La Pieta, the name
given this piece
And the artist, Michelangelo,
signed this work of art
This master artist
who captured you—
The mother of God
in all your youthful glory
With your son laying crucified
across your lap—
Your replication
was the only thing
he ever signed
Maybe he realized how
important it was ...
to tell the rest of your story

Copy of Michangelo's Pieta in PoznaƄ
§  photo by RadomilThis is a file from the Wikimedia Commons
(Printed: Poetic Bloomings - the first year - edited by Marie Elena Good
and Walter J.Wojtanik)



  1. the close and you know i think he probably did...i can not imaginee watching a son go through know what they were doing to him...even in his reassurance that it must happen...ugh...great capture...

  2. Mother to mother...I was touched by your poem. We can only imagine her anguish and great sorrow to see her son being crucified on the cross. Beautiful share ~

  3. That was something I liked very much too, the connection between mother to mother, even one as deified as that, still identifying with her as a mother, a person who was once really living and imagining her emotion. The repetition of the theme worked well.

  4. Beautiful approach to the Pieta, speaking mother-to-mother to Mary. As much as I love that sculpture, I can't begin to imagine that the reality would have been as serene. Because Mary "held all things in her heart," I'm sure she saw beyond the ugliness and blood, but...

  5. the mother to mother made it very personal...even more personal than it already is..think it's one of the most horrible things that can happen to a mother if they have to see their kid die...

  6. Sharon- I can't imagine what that was like. There's an Easter reenactment at one of the local chuches that makes me cry when I see Mary in such agonizing pain. This poem is beautiful.

  7. Oh what a beautiful story this is! So lovingly written.

  8. Thank you all so much for reading and making such wonderful comments; I know this isn't strictly an ekphrastic poem but it was the closest I could seem to come to addressing anything close to sculpture ... thanks again.