poems should have been about the cross,
but who could do that? We, who wait here
long shadow, trying to look up
and unable, knowing that to gaze directly at it
out the pupils of our self-esteem? It is not
finished: that face (R S Thomas said it) is "staring
twenty centuries it has stared,
from unfathomable darkness into unfathomable light",
between both look on, helpless
like children in Dickens, bewildered heirs
great estate, watching
the tragic tale unfold, knowing
future joy depends on this transaction
in whose genesis we are somehow implicated.
“staring as over twenty centuries...” From R S Thomas’ sequence “Crucifixion” from the book Counterpoint.
children in Dickens I was thinking specifically of the “wards in Jarndyce” in Bleak House.