Imagine, a story that didn’t make it in,

But it must have been part of the story behind

The story we have.

Poets have to guess at these things.

While the other women bearing spices stood, bewildered

In the empty tomb

Knowing together what was really true

Wondering how they would explain

The light that had come to them,

Another scene must have been playing out.

Mary, his mother, living with his friend now

Sweeps the floor as dawn breaks.
Finally, blessedly alone, she lets the tears flow

As she remembers

The pitiful lightness of His dead body,

Down from the cross and stiffening in her arms,

Absurdly light, and helpless, the beloved light

No longer in his eyes

Remembering again, his tiny body

Held to her breast, in a stinking, swept-clean stable

Remembering the day when it all started,

Herself a growing girl, sweeping the floor, as today

Staring at a pile of sweepings

As the room filled with light and the angel’s voice said

“Hail, favored one!”

Now, again, she stares at the sweepings,

Glad of her tears, glad of the women who said

We’ll go. You stay here. It has been enough for you.

And as her tears wet the dust, she knows

She is not alone

A voice says, gently, “Hail, favored one

Your Lord is with you” And she turns and sees

The twinkle in his eye that was always just for her.

He is laughing, delighted at her surprise

Yes. Really. I am here.

You knew I would come. I told you I would:


She knows that body. Has held it in her arms.

Now she has to touch every inch of him

Count, as she did when he was new born

Every finger and toe

All there. There are wounds now. Dried blood

Deep holes

Her fingers linger tenderly

But when she asks,”Does it hurt?” he

simply laughs again

As a happy new mother would laugh,

holding her child,

If you asked her, “Did it hurt?”

And you saw in her delight

The absurdity

Of that question.

He says to her:

If you asked a mother, gazing at her child

About the birthing moments before. If you asked her,

Did it hurt?

What would she say?

Woman, what would she say?