Grief stricken, an empty armed mother
wanders outside the city gates and
meets the family leaving their home,
empty pocketed, no wage to come.
Misshapen people, ostracised sit
in the shade of the tombs and rocks,
longing for a health to enter
the city where they are unclean,
where deprivation, disease, death
and hatred walk hand in hand.
No one cares, she cries, sobbing.
Our children, homeless starving.
No one to help us survive, shouts
the father and the lepers echo
their hurts in voices worn thin
from ill use and groaning;
huddled against the threats,
isolated and desperate
they hear the growing crowds.
Listening they hear ‘Hosanna’
move closer, curious and
A donkey, palm strewed, weaving
down into a walled off city, where
only the rich are blessed and glad
only the powerful comfortably clad
in purple and gold, glittering,
with self-importance and sin.
Feeling leprous left out of celebration,
grieving see the crowd’s jubilation.
and a tired man, over big for a mule,
looking towards the merciless,
gates widened like a lion’s gape.
The city of peace swallows him whole,
breaks his skin with brutal flogging,
nails him to wood for hungry crows,
fearing his selfless love of the poor,
unknowingly sows his body and heart,
as he gracefully accepted human pain
showing that heaven’s love is like grain,
down in the grace turned earth,
that essence dies in the darkness,
and extravagantly grows
an hundredfold and more
to shake our conscience,
open our purses, teach us
healing, work for a kingdom
where common good is the