The Time It Takes

The longer I watch him

Clarissa cross
Painting by Clarissa

the more I wonder

whether the Cross of Jesus

was not the only moment

our saving happened,

as if such cruelty could solve

an inevitable, deadly equation.

Perhaps it was only the

penultimate moment

to resurrection’s triumph—

though unheralded,


the sealing of

love’s new first word.


But even then it

would be hollow

without all those

other interruptions:

the divine impulse

making food blossom

in their hands

on a hillside,

a girl’s lifeless eyes

fluttering open,

Lazarus leaning into

the muffled announcement

that even time must step aside

for love’s insistent force.


The shape of all the saving—

all the loving—

required the alignment

of his arms.


He extended them

in one terrible

timeless moment

into which he gathered

all the other moments

and offers all of it

time after time

resisting confinement,

elusive as spirit,




Be still and see

there he goes again.