In Between: A Poem for Holy Thursday

And going a little farther, he threw himself on the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not what I want but what you want.”
Matthew 26:39 (New Revised Standard Version)

There's a semi-colon
In the middle of your prayer.

How long did that pause last
In between
Your plea for mercy
And your sigh of acceptance?

Did the deep groan
Of your troubled breath
Rumble the ground,
Rattle the sleep
Of your slumbering friends?

Did your nails claw the ground?

Did your knees bleed?

How many shallow breaths
Did you draw
Before you could speak again?

Was there bloody mud on your forehead
When you rose from the ground?

Could you taste the earth
On your lips?

In between
The falling and the rising,
In between
The "if" and the "yet"
You strap struggle on your back
You load anguish on your shoulders
You gather sin in your hands
You clamp your feet in shackles.

Your weary voice stirs us,
Wrestles us,
Pauses us:
"Will you go with Me
Into the in-between
Of this dark night
And a distant dawn?"