Everyone was out that day, for a show.
Sure, it was sad for people who knew him
but she was his mother, slinking about
the rabble in that dark halug, veiling
her face with a headscarf—as if no one noticed her.
Some say it served her right,
letting her son run about the countryside
the way she did. Poor Joseph,
for all efforts at teaching the boy
a skill, never succeeded,
hadn’t a chance against Mary’s coddling.
But how could she just stand there, watching?
Each time the scourge met flesh she didn’t even flinch.
No cry, no lamentation—most unlike a child of God.
Any other mother would have had to be contained,
would have put herself between lash and child,
would have succumbed to conniption—at the least,
rent her clothing. Not one tear.
She was always strange, though—quiet,
dark days about her since she was a girl.
It wasn’t easy: the scandal before the wedding;
him getting into trouble with the law.
Perhaps, she was relieved.