the cowardly lion
"My son, my son," Padre's kiss on my forehead.
"My love, my love," My body borne up by His.
"My flame, my flame," His finger held to my sternum.
The lion; wounded and shivering, cowering in tree-shade at the river’s side.
The lion; half-cleaning its wounds of caked mud, dried blood.
The lion; terrified, filthy, shorn of pride — muscle — indwelling.
Padre kneels and speaks in hymns.
Padre matches breaths with the lion and speaks in dreams.
Padre combs his hand through the lion’s mane and speaks in tears.
He holds the head of the weeping lion in His hands.
He whispers and sparks fire in the lion's heart.
His eyes glow and He claims the lion —
"You — all of you — you are mine."
Now the lion sees its wounds slipping from its flesh as beads of water.
"Your story — your song — is mine all mine —”
Now the lion sees its wounds transferred to the lamb.
“I make all things new, lion. You are mine all mine.”
Now the lion sees its shadow — held in the shadow the lamb.
The lion feels its frame renewed, and the lamb embraces the healed Lion.
"Feel them new bones — oh Lion —”
The lion hears sounds renewed, and the lamb holds fast the healed Beast.
“Hear that new music — oh Beast —”
The lion sees its wounds closed and cleansed, and the lamb loves the healed Beloved.
“See that new flesh — oh Beloved —”
And the lamb holds the lion’s gaze. “Watch — watch them wounds vanish as smoke"
And the Passover Lamb — bleeding sweet, bleeding bright.
“My lion — my lion — how wonder-full."
"How I love you, my oh my oh — how Deep and how Wide I love you."