Some scientist has said,
has said he can prove
that cats wait anxious hours for the disturbance
we call earthquake.

Is it possible then
on that Good Friday
knew something was to happen and waited for the happening?

Is it not possible
one hot afternoon near Jerusalem,
near such an anguished hilltop,
frogs sang from some shadowed shade?

Is it not possible that there from noon 'til three
Caesar's horses deployed to Asia,
Palm Sunday's donkey and colt
moved restlessly
as the sun passed the midday mark?

Nervous jerking,
as they felt in earth herself
something the Romans, Jews, Gentiles
and Simon of Cyrene could not feel beneath their feet?

Uneasy birds,
Restive in the dry sky,
no music in their throats,
just dusty chirps.

Could a scientist someday prove
they were all suddenly silent
at that fractured moment after

Who of those who loved Him
would hear such silence as sobs rose?
who of those who feared and hated Him
would hear such quiet seconds as they turned,
to walk down the bloodied hill?

I think there was a moment that Good Friday afternoon
veil rent
nature herself paused in terror
and all the restless, anxious creatures
sensing the wretchedness
grew still.

The birds high notes
withered in the moment the frogs grew still;
heads raised,
poised for the moment the earth grew still;
the soft ears of cats heard the emptiness
as insects held wings close,
quiet in their loss.

Collegeville, MN 1987

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