They never should have shown me
those pictures: the man who
wore a long white robe, sandals,
his moist brown eyes always looking up,
his long silk hair surrounded by a mist of gold.
They told me it was he who changed the world.
He spoke wise words but never wrote them down.
With time I learned he was the one
who saved me. From what, I did not know.
He had to be killed in order to do it.
After that, no robe, no sandals.
Nearly naked, limp hair matted,
head hung low, he was nailed
to a hideous wooden cross. I was
too young to not look, to not listen.
I put the pictures, the story, the cross
away in a deep place where
things never let go. Even though
all of it happened when I wasn’t there.
Nor was anyone who told me so.