Napo 5: Palm Sunday

It's Palm Sunday today, and I had a bit of a hard time writing my poem. Of course, I'm thinking about the coronavirus, and how much things have changed from this year to last year. Alas:

Palm Sunday, 2020

This morning, my faith is a dying palm frond
laid down on an empty road.

On that first Palm Sunday,
As Jesus rode into Jerusalem,
Did he know what the week ahead
Had in store for him? Did he think of this
As he took in the sweet scent
Of wildflower pollen in the air,
Intermixed with the morning breath
Of the devout? I wonder this

On my own Palm Sunday, in my apartment,
in solitude, as I usher in the holy week ahead
With a cup of coffee and a solemn prayer for the sick.
I take sip. Its bitterness slides down my throat.

Most Palm Sundays, I sit in a cathedral
Filled with dying fronds and smiling faces,
And filled with faith, not fear,
Feeling the gentle embrace of a neighbor,
Listening to dulcet voices of a choir
Singing Hosanna in the Highest.

But today, the only music I hear is my own breath,
My lungs filling with stale air and let it go.
I stand at the smudged window
And watch the empty city outside—
The roads covered in dust and sunshine and desolation,
knowing, too, that the week ahead
Will bring a kind of crucifixion.
Did Jesus know a corona would fasten to his flesh?
And how did he, triumphantly,
Ride into that?

If I can figure that out,
Here, barefoot and in my pajamas,
If I can muster that kind of faith,
That on the other side of this,
Something miraculous awaits
Then maybe I can get through
This Holy Week.