Home > Poetry > Those I Love Are Subjected Once More to a Farcical Trial
Published: Mon Oct 15 2001
Eva Lundsager, Were now like (detail), 2021, oil on canvas
Those I Love Are Subjected Once More to a Farcical Trial

for Susan, Liz, Steve and Phil

Reverberations, motions of spirit—
_             _only monks or mystics are attentive.

_       _ Beneath the comicalities, the curt court,
_                 _ the rancor of death-head judges—

_                               _ go deep, deeper.

_       _ Soul stirs like the faint flutter
_             _of Lazarus’ fingers’ start
_                 _ —the merest intent of birth—
to lift the gauzy shroud from face.
_                 _ (Caravaggio, that volatile genius—but
_                   _ Christ thought of it first)—

_                    _Lazarus longs to breathe. He clutches thin air,
_     _ though a moment ago, thought of breath
_                                            _ slept forever,

_                                                 _dead bones
_     _   stacked back to back, all odds
_                   _against life.

_                                             _ Now face to face.

_           _And ourselves stirred, who a moment past
_                   _dared not imagine

_           _ —shall we risk it?—the Real Thing.

See what's inside AGNI 54

Daniel Berrigan is a Jesuit priest and author of more than fifty books of poetry and prose. He is deeply involved in the global peace movement and a contributing editor of Sojourners, a Christian social justice magazine. (updated 6/2010)

“A Conversation with Daniel Berrigan” by Mark Wagner appeared in AGNI 43.

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