“He steadfastly set his face
to go to Jerusalem”
They went up to Zion in joy
with an ancient song on their lips
“Lift up your heads, O gates”
and beasts for the altar,
an ox or a sheep,
a ram or a pair of white doves.
No wall in those days to be wailed,
but a place of rejoicing and praise.
Your journey, made heavy with healing,
knew tears at its end, or close by,
in a vale and a garden.
You bore your rich offering proudly
hands, feet and side, to be cut
to the quick, for the quick and the dead.
On your lifted-up head
was the crown that prevailed,
deep marks of the blessing and wounding
that bled us to life.
And your lips, half in grief,
half in joy, all in grace,
sang to tear down the ramparts of strife,
fling open the city for peace.