Epistle

 

Monseñor Oscar Romero—
Today I visited the church
	of La Divina Providencia
	where the escuadrón de muerte
	murdered you.
A simple, plain 
	modern church,
across from a hospital.
On the wall
	near the front doors,
	a picture of you
	marching with the people.
Near the altar,
	a plaque from the Carmelite sisters
	for the 7th anniversary of your death.

That’s all there was of you there…


I knelt at a pew
	to talk with you—
I, a Spirit captured in this body, on this earth

	I do not know 
if you could hear 
my thoughts, my words

I wanted you to know
	how your death inspired,
 	provoked so many of us.
How there is a Central America Week
at the time of your death-anniversary
so that we learn about
the people, history, culture
of here, El Salvador
& of other countries,
so that we can learn about
the actions here of our government,
of our country.
I wanted you to know
	that such external investigation
	also provoked us to look internally
at the poverty & repression
in our own country.

I told you
	I wish I had the faith you had
	& the love
	Many times I find it lacking in my self
My self-doubts of all that work
all those years
But my inner knowledge says
As long as 
the heart, the mind, the soul
of one United Statian
was touched, provoked,
As long as 
one Salvadoran, Nicaraguan
Guatemalan, Diné
received a meal, medicine,
clothes against the mountain night cold,
then the work, 
then your death
had value…


After I left,
eyes rimmed with
the moistness of risen tears,
soul quieted with
my confessions to you, Monseñor
I thought about this poem…


As you said mass that day
the sacrificial wine became,
your blood became
the blood of Christ.

Your wound—your wound
the gun shot …
How many were there?
How many times were you shot?
Where were you shot?
You a servant of God,
a messenger of the word of Christ,
a teacher, an example of love for humanity,
became Christ on that 24 March
Were the wounds
the crown of thorns?
Were your wounds
the lance pierced
through Christ’s side?

The blood—the blood
your blood
that fell upon the altar.
Your blood became sanctified
in your martyrdom,
another martyr for the truth
of Christ’s teachings.

Monseñor Romero—
What were your dying words?
Or did the Spirit dove
fly swiftly from your Earth-bound body
to the heavens?


Your body—your bloody body
your dying body…
behind the altar,
before the bloodied
crucified Christ…

©2019, Lorraine Caputo

Author:

The focus of "The BeZine," a publication of The Bardo Group Beguines, is on sacred space (common ground) as it is expressed through the arts. Our work covers a range of topics: spirituality, life, death, personal experience, culture, current events, history, art, and photography and film. We share work here that is representative of universal human values however differently they might be expressed in our varied religions and cultures. We feel that our art and our Internet-facilitated social connection offer a means to see one another in our simple humanity, as brothers and sisters, and not as “other.” This is a space where we hope you’ll delight in learning how much you have in common with “other” peoples. We hope that your visits here will help you to love (respect) not fear. For more see our Info/Mission Statement Page.

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