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Good Friday Aria

May 15, 2013

by Gail Eisenhart

A motley group of somber men and women
follow a crude log cross between stations
staked on neighborhood lawns, singing

Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

In response, a pack of neighborhood dogs howl
a countermelody. As they carry the cross,
the cacophony of barks and yowls reaches
ear-splitting levels. The leader pauses to pray

We adore you O Christ and we bless you.

The dogs are silent. Only budding forsythia
dare to whisper. Solemnly, they answer

By your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Moments later heads lift, the group shuffles
forward singing the next verse of the old hymn…

and the dogs begin to howl.


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Gail Eisenhart’s poems have appeared recently in Cantos, Assisi, The Centrifugal Eye, The Quotable, The Oklahoma Review and in Flood Stage: an anthology of St. Louis Poets. A retired Executive Assistant, she works part time at the Belleville (Illinois) Public Library and travels in her spare time, collecting memories that eventually show up in new poems.