How It All Ends: A Poem for Holy Saturday

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I have to admit… Christmas is everyone’s favorite holiday (mine too), but something about the Lenten and Easter season feels deeper, more profound as I get older. Yet what do you do with Holy Saturday, that single dark day in between despair and hope? Last year, I did my best to capture the tiniest glimpse of what it might have been like for those left behind who didn’t yet know for sure how the story would end…

She used to say she loved
those TV movies about Jesus,
but hated the crucifixion scene

even though it was toned down
in the grains of 1970s film,
palatable to the eyes of those
eating dinner in front of
a flickering screen.

This is us, now, knowing
how it all ends, knowing
in three days the lungs of God
would reinflate.

Knowing the ending, could I
ever comprehend the blackness,
ever imagine the darkest
Saturday in history?

A King’s body shrouded in spices
and linen lay withering
behind stone,

The budding bloom of salvation,
crushed
careless
trod by
His creation.

Oh my God

today the sun scatters clouds
the sun that once turned away
at your final earthly breath
as the lion lay shorn and still.

May I never forget
the darkest day of history,
spring stopped, waiting,
pressing her face
at the tomb’s door.

Jen was born and raised in central Florida, but now lives in the strange land of southern New England. Her words have appeared in TS Poetry’s Every Day Poems, CCM Magazine, and other publications, and she recently released her first poetry collection Ruins & Kingdoms. Some of her favorite things include used bookstores, good coffee, messing about in the kitchen, and local adventures with her husband Chris.


5 Comments

  1. David

    Gorgeous poem, Jen, on one of the most deeply mysterious days on the Church calendar. But all the days are mysteries. Even Easter Sunday. It’s the most triumphant day, yet the four Evangelists narrate it with gravity and restraint, and due regard for its odd wrinkles.

    Happy Easter to you. The Lord is risen.

  2. Jen Rose

    @

    Thank you, David. And great point… except for maybe the angels showing up to clarify the open tomb, the Resurrection itself doesn’t come with a whole lot of fanfare. Such a beautiful mystery.

    Happy Easter! He is risen indeed.

  3. Carol-Jean B

    Someone read this at our Holy Saturday painting workshop this morning, and it stopped everyone still. Thank you for this beautiful expression.

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