No Roman soldiers here

beating back the crowd

just guys in yellow vests

holding up the cars

for the barefoot boy with his thorn crown

carrying a cross

his mother and her friends attending

and all of us with faces taut

walking through the town

is it nothing to you, ye that pass by?

Three teenage girls join the voiceless throng

who whisper and giggle

but in the end

even they fall silent.  A mother on the pavement

tries to take home her small sons

but one  says ‘I want to watch,

I want to watch,

I want to watch, Mum.’  So she pauses

and here alongside a fat man

who, half-shamefaced, half-joins us

a drunken male voice bawls

‘You’ll all burn in hell’

but no-one turns or speaks

walking with no words

I do not know

the woman next to me,

we smile once or twice,

and once, as I wipe away my tears

I see she has them too

 (image from Catholic Church England and Wales)




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