La Pieta

She held him on her lap like a child.
He was helpless and limp
as when she first embraced him.
Her arms that encircled him,
his only halo.

No Magi, this time,
but thieves.
No star,
but a crown of thorns.

She felt numb as the widow
who pleaded with Elisha
when creditors demanded her son,
for now, the angry crowd,
like creditors, claimed hers.

She held him on her lap like a child,
and knew her only task:
to nurture him with her life.

Even Michelangelo,
sculpting La Pieta,
could never quite stand back,
this side of Eternity,
to say: “It is finished.”

Alone,
Mary learns again:
A vessel is useful
only through its emptiness.

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