Simon of Cyrene

After the peace of the countryside’s springtime,
Jerusalem must have seemed violent and loud;
Brash with suspicion – a "Who is this King?" time,
Riotously full with this bloodthirsty crowd.
So, were you drawn to the shameful procession,
To watch three bloodied criminals led out to die?
And, seeing his face, did you think – what transgression
Has caused this crazed mob to cry out "Crucify"?

What did you feel when the soldiers commanded,
Calling you out from the side of the road?
"Take up this poor wretch’s cross", they demanded,
"He’s far too weak now to carry the load".
What was it like to walk closely behind him,
Smelling the fear and the sweat and the shame?
Was this where you thought you would finally find him,
Nazareth’s healer of blind, deaf and lame?

Were you relieved when at last you reached Golgotha?
When you were able to offload his cross?
Did that whole scene seem a hellish anathema –
One shining soul amidst life’s scum and dross?
So did you wait just to see his life’s ending?
What did you think as the nails hammered loud –
Noises of torture with rude jeering blending?
Did you stay on and observe, with the crowd?

Revd Wendy Fellingham (formerly Swanage Parish Ministry)