Passion Play

By Gina Marinello-Sweeney, March 26, 2016

Word Count: 283

Rating: G

Summary: A poem about Jesus’ passion and death, as rediscovered through a passion play.

Image credit: Edward Arthur Fellowes Prynne

A young man, portraying Jesus of Nazareth

Walked down the center aisle

No, down the path

Of the Place of the Skull

He held a wooden cross before him

The guard’s whip cracking at his heels.

As he continued, he began to stumble.

The blow fell harder.

The whip, a piercing blade, accosted his back,

Scorched his arms, maligned his side.

No, never maligned.

They could not soil the pure, cast out the holy.

But they tried.

And He let them.

He let them for us.

He drew closer to the altar.

An altar of today, a church timeless

Of centuries later,

Of today, tomorrow, and yesterday.

And then I saw it.

Overlapping glimmers of wings

Wings trembling

A trembling angel

Two images, overlapping

One taller, larger, greater,

An encompassing image of the All

A crown of thorns.

I thirst.

And, another, smaller

With overlapping shadows of wings

Wings trembling

Struggling, falling,

Bent in pain.

I rushed forward, holding out my arms,

Closer, closer reaching,

Hands outstretched.

My heart swelled as I leaned towards the bent figure,

My entire being caught up in the necessity to grasp

One of the silent wings,

Barely distinguishable in the faint light.

Falling, falling

Two images overlapping

No, I will carry your cross.

I rushed forward and cradled his limp form.

I touched a glimpse.

The wing drew about me.

I knelt, unable to move.

It lifted, as if an eye cast upward,

And I followed it.

A crack of lightning sounded.

The outline of the larger figure that I had seen before

Grew larger, became filled with a brilliant


I bent in awe.


(The above excerpts have been switched to poetry format for the purpose of this post.  The source material, I THIRST, is a novel available for purchase at


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