The Road to Emmaus

We were walking between fields spotted with red anemones,

corn growing strong, and across the greened land the trees

lifted their faces to the lowering sun and the growing dark.

—–

The air felt cool on our tight skin, and the sour smell of dust 

rose up in our footsteps with the grief in our harried hearts.

We doubted that he died. We believed him dead. And then,

——

some women with herbs in their hands said he was living.

We walked home talking and thinking, tears and hope both

intermingled with the words in our heads from Mary, Joanna

——

and the others. I trudged, so tired that I felt that I was wading

in the mud of the shallows of the Jordan, my head ached as

with each muddled moment I dragged myself wearily along.

——-

A man caught us up. And, for a while was content to match his

stride with ours. He then saw our expressions and questioned. 

We told the baffling story of a man brutally crucified who speaks, 

——–

defies all we know of the world to walk unaided despite having 

a hideous hole in his side, was beaten til the skin was torn from 

his lacerated back, his ankles smashed with huge wooden nails. 

——–

A teacher he seemed as he led us along through the words

of our own scriptures and taught us that the Messiah would  

suffer these things and then he would succeed to his glory.

——–

As we watched the sun setting over the hills beyond our village

we listened to deep words which slowly seeped into our tired minds.

Does it matter, I thought, what we believe, he is dead and gone!

——–

Our home loomed in the gloom before us and our companion

calm, quiet and kindly walked on. But despite our weariness 

we invited in him to share in the meagre meal in our home.

——–

Our stranger sat strangely quiet as we set out the frugal fare,

We came to table and offered him the coarse bread. It was, 

as he lifted the loaf to pray, that our eyes were opened and saw

——

at our table the risen Lord, his woundedness for us a wonder,

and as we started, so he slipped from our weak dissembling sight,

and looking at the broken bread we believed the unbelievable.

——-

Energised, full dark out but we stumbled along the lanes, owls

hooted and as we neared Jerusalem a night jar sang a song 

of praise. We found Peter risen from his grief and others too.

———

We sang to a God who had dispatched death, conquered fear,

overcome the humiliation of the cross and was here with us; a

God who seeks individuals to reconcile each one to his peace.