The angel holds her staff of authority lightly
at the empty tomb;
like a feather pen, not a hammer, nor a policeman’s club.
And with the other hand he blesses the Mother,
still red-eyed in grief,
her heart frozen in loss.
While we celebrate the great Easter Resurrection,
Mary still aches. Her hands tremble
as she tries to offer the myrrh.
Will she ever recover from what she
has been through?
Will those images ever leave her mind at 3:00 am
when the light through the window she again mistakes
for the first angel with another life-shattering announcement?
Even in Easter we carry Holy Week
like a pebble in our shoe
just as we sneak Easter into
Holy Week’s back door with the occasional
smile which breaks the somber mood
and annoys the dowagers in their black.
These two – the angel and the Mother –
they bridge the gap between grief and joy
like dessert table at the wake
or the brief sight of aunt Tilly at the wedding
as she sits with her cancer,
fingering her marbles rye and wondering
if anyone else sees the irony.