Man of Sorrows
from Man of Sorrows by Peter Blume

Of course he would carry the cross,
bear with the crown of thorns,
finally allow the holy sister’s soft hands
to touch him,
sew golden icons and charms
onto his garments, into his flesh,
their needles at times tugging
against gristle
glancing off bone.

What else could he do?
the old ways were fading
brown and red men told that to worship
the earth, the sky, the seasons
no longer mattered.
Still, last night he had dreamed
of the Jingle Dancers
Sturdy black-haired women who spun
and pranced at the Pow-wow,
how they had washed his leathery skin,
anointed him with cedar oil,
tied to his limbs silk ribbons
that later, from the top of the terrible hill,
had held the wind like a rainbow
had shuddered to the distant thunder
of four men drumming.

Guy Thorvaldsen