This Pain and This Sword

posted in: Poetry | 0

booksThis Pain and This Sword

by Joanie Jorash





I don’t want to die
And I don’t want to live
I’m standing at the crossroads
Waiting in fear

Death’s too familiar and
Life, like a stranger
How can I choose between
Two perfect dangers?

For somehow I see
They resemble one another
Like long lost brothers
As they stand together

Death is bowed down
‘Neath a cross of great size
A burden of sorrows
He bears in his eyes

And Life, he does wield
A great cross as a sword
In the fashion of a victorious,
Kingly warlord

And look! As I watch
The crosses two come together
One terrible, beautiful
Cross in its splendor

To reveal to me the truth of the matter
That the cross which now stands
Between them both
Has not one bit of power with just
One or the other

For without Death’s casualties
Life is stripped of his glory
And without Life’s victory
Death’s groans are in vain

And now I realize
My excuses have gone
They have left no traces
And I’m an undone

Death and Life are a union
Which now I must meet
With tears and tremblings
And many embraces

For the hope which they bear
Between them two-
That pain and that sword
Of my kingly Jew-

Is apportioned to me also
By blood and by birth
But to a great end-
He’ll return to the earth

And this cross has another office
Mysterious, divine
It acts as a door into
The rooms of His mind

For in the weight of my sorrows
And the groans of my flesh
He is afflicted in my afflictions
And I share in His death

Yet I stand with Him too,
In the victory of life
No longer a captive,
Pure, whole, and upright

And so I cling to this cross
Death and Life on each side
For Life Himself I do die
And in His death I’m alive