Viernes Santo, León, 1997 — by Julie Sellers

I stand
precariously
watching the Passion
from atop this narrow wall.
I teeter,
wedged beside a portly matron
casting suspicious glances
at this blonde foreigner
who dared to ascend
for just a glimpse
of the pageantry
and solemnity
intermingled in the plaza below.
Somber music;
swaying penitents
in crimson robes
and conical black hoods;
the heavy scent of so many flowers,
bright against the ancient stone walls.
Christ crucified,
La Dolorosa looks on
as the faithful lower
His broken body.
Silence.
Tears.
I find my arm around my neighbor’s waist,
hers around mine,
holding each other safe,
bound by something
that transcends all else.

 

An Associate Professor of Spanish at Benedictine College, Julie Sellers has twice been the overall prose winner of the Kansas Voices Contest. She has published in Kansas Time + Place, The Write Launch, Kanhistique, and New Works Review. Her third academic book, The Modern Bachateros, was published in 2017 (McFarland).

April Editor Roy Beckemeyer‘s latest book is Mouth Brimming Over (2019, Blue Cedar Press).

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