Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, CRUCIFIXION, by HAYDEN CARRUTH



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CRUCIFIXION, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: You understand the colors on the hillside have faded
Last Line: On the hillside, and after a while I nodded back to him
Subject(s): Crucifixion; Jesus Christ - Crucifixion


You understand the colors on the hillside have faded,
we have the gray and brown and lavender of late autumn,
the apple and pear trees have lost their leaves, the mist
of November is often with us, especially in the afternoon
and toward evening, as it was today when I sat gazing
up into the orchard for a long time they way I do now,
thinking of how I died last winter and was revived.
And I tell you I saw there a cross with a man nailed
to it, silvery in the mist, and I said to him: "Are you
the Christ?" And he must have heard me, for in his
agony, twisted as he was, he nodded his head affirmatively,
up and down, once and twice. And a little way off
I saw another cross with another man nailed to it,
twisting and nodding, and then another and another,
ranks and divisions of crosses straggling like exhausted
legions upward among the misty trees, each cross
with a silvery, writhing, twisting, nodding, naked
figure nailed to it, and some of them were women.
The hill was filled with crucifixion. Should I not be
telling you this? Is it excessive? But I know something
about death now, I know how silent it is, silent even
when the pain is shrieking and screaming. And tonight
is very silent and very dark. When I looked I saw
nothing out there, only my own reflected head nodding
a little in the window glass. It was as if the Christ
had nodded to me, all those writhing silvery images
on the hillside, and after a while I nodded back to him.


Used with the permission of Copper Canyon Press, P.O. Box 271, Port Townsend, WA
98368-0271, www.cc.press.org




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