on the edge of holy week

by Jeffrey Essmann

this time/ 
each year/
(each year this time)
as i anticipate
the palms
and the hosannas…
(i think)
i think again
i have to hear
the story drear”
i have/
to take/
to heart/
(to heart must take)
the ache
of pain and death/
of final breath/
pushed into
blackened sky
must clear heart
to feel the spear
(the fear
of final
must welcome
death’s embrace
must kiss
the dying face…
must watch again
(this time/this year)
the drop
of blood
to seed 
the barren earth…

Jeffrey Essmann is an essayist and poet living in New York. His poetry has appeared in numerous magazines and literary journals, among them Dappled Things, the St. Austin ReviewThe Society of Classical PoetsAmethyst ReviewAgape ReviewAmerica MagazineU.S. Catholic, Heart of Flesh Literary Journal, Edge of FaithPensive, and various venues of the Benedictine monastery with which he is an oblate. He is editor of the Catholic Poetry Room page on the Integrated Catholic Life website.

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