Indifference is not characteristic of the liturgy
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A blog of the Evangelical Lutheran Liturgy

Maundy Thursday Poem

I haven't had the time or energy to find new poems for Holy Week this year as I have in the past. Father Petersen already mentioned that Maundy Thursday is the night of "failure and betrayal." I don't think I could find a poem better than the one I found a couple years ago to capture those emotions, anyway. So here, at least, is one poem for Holy Week, for Maundy Thursday, and the night in which the Bridegroom was betrayed.

Wan Chu's Wife In Bed


Wan Chu, my adoring husband,
has returned from another trip
selling trinkets in the provinces.
He pulls off his lavender shirt
as I lie naked in our bed,
waiting for him. He tells me
I am the only woman he'll ever love.
He may wander from one side of China
to the other, but his heart
will always stay with me.
His face glows in the lamplight
with the sincerity of a boy
when I lower the satin sheet
to let him see my breasts.
Outside, it begins to rain
on the cherry trees
he planted with our son,
and when he enters me with a sigh,
the storm begins in earnest,
shaking our little house.
Afterwards, I stroke his back
until he falls asleep.
I'd love to stay awake all night
listening to the rain,
but I should sleep, too.
Tomorrow Wan Chu will be
a hundred miles away
and I will be awake all night
in the arms of Wang Chen,
the tailor from Ming Pao,
the tiny village down the river.
Pr. H. R.2 Comments