This holy picture was painted with starpoints of light
shining from the body of Christ like knifeblades.
I am taken by the reverse image,
the darkness coming at him, shards of obsidian,
malevolent arrows. At Meteora
we tour a shot-up chapel, the eyes of the Blessed Mother
two crumbling bullet holes. Some soldier’s
unknowingly eloquent sacrilege, this
Madonna of the twentieth century,
this Madonna of man’s brutal blindness.
Yet, later, the bus crests a hill, and
I’m startled by a sunset so beautiful
I genuflect without thinking.
© 2001 Nancy A. Henry