Friday, April 14, 2006

Good Friday

Thomas Merton was a Cistercian monk who wrote this poem for his brother whose plane was shot down and died at sea. Appropriate reflection on a hot April Good Friday.

For My Brother: Reported Missing in Action, 1943

Sweet brother, if I do not sleep
My eyes are flowers for your tomb
And if I cannot eat my bread, My fasts shall live like willows where you died.
If in the heat I find no water for my thirst
My thirst shall turn to springs for you, poor traveler

Where, in what desolate and smoky country, Lies your poor body, lost and dead?
And in what landscape of disasterhas your unhappy spirit lost its road?

Come, in my labor find a resting place
And in my sorrows lay your head, Or rather take my life and blood
And buy yourself a better bed—Or take my breath and take my death
And buy yourself a better rest.

When all men of war are shot
And flags have fallen into dust,
Your cross and mine shall tell men still
Christ died on each, for both of us.

For in the wreckage of your April Christ lies slain,
And Christ weeps in the ruins of my spring;
The money of Whose tears shall fallInto your weak and friendless hand,
And buy you back to your own land:
The silence of Whose tears shall fallLike bells upon your alien tomb.
Hear them and come: they call you home.

No comments: