Karen O’Connor, Tomorrow at 3

Tomorrow at 3

I should be there.
I feel that burden.
Yet knowing, futile.
Still it lives with me.
Like incense lingers
on my skin.
Like candle wax burns,
then hardens,
hangs on, protects.
Like you will be there,
set in each station
of the cross, of the
memory of you,
carrying your many.

I should be there.
I should listen to the
cold marble echo.
To the sound of finches
wings, murmur, lift.
To watch each faithful
one by one and know it’s you
that moves me.
It’s you that walks
beneath my cross,
carrying it with me.
It’s you that falls
and you that rises up.
It’s you that cries from thirst
and you that offers up the sponge.
It’s you that was betrayed,
my Judas kiss,
still wet upon your cheek.
It’s you that turned
and offered me the other.

Karen O’Connor is an Irish writer and winner of the Listowel Writers’ Week Single Poem Prize, The Allingham Poetry Award, The Jonathan Swift Creative Writing Award for Poetry, and the Nora Fahy Literary Awards for Short Story.  She is a poet and short story writer and her work has appeared in many magazines and anthologies.

Karen’s first poetry collection FINGERPRINTS (On Canvas) was published by Doghouse Books in 2005.  Her second collection, published in 2011, Between The Lines, also from Doghouse Books, was featured on the RTÉ Radio 1 Arts Programme Arena. Find her website here.


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