His carpenter’s shop was a cellar
and the sweet air of sap and resin clung
to bench, ceiling, tools, apron, and the fellow
who swept the floor; when his broom swung
it was a celebration for the senses.
Early one morning the craftsman lingered,
nodding at the tidiness, pausing to blow
yesterday’s fine dust from his barked fingers.
A tall order. A set of three, wouldn’t you know –
two for Galgotha, one for the palace.
He rather hoped Pilate was to be crucified.
Cheered by the thought he wielded the adze
and the chisel, going with the grain, satisfied
in his work till a customer came
with the news. “Stop man! The Messiah
Is to be the executed one. In God’s name
lay the cross aside.”
“Jesus is a carpenter,”
replied the skilled man, “just like me. He’d say
get the job done by the man they assigned
and don’t have it made in a slip-shod way.
We all have our cross. This is mine.”
Copyright Philip Burton 2018