The Legacy of Lazarus*


No one knew how the two

leagues apart in distance and ambition

became so tightly bound in flesh

death could not shear asunder.


Perhaps a childhood misadventure

or adolescent fantasy

sewed their souls together so

there was no crease between them.


Lazarus the confidant

was the one who listened

absorbing every disappointing sorrow into dust,

melting every dark night into dawn.


He could rinse the clouds away

with the yes inside his eyes,

could brace His sails in the doldrums

with the crease of hope across his cheeks.


Without a word, in his bosom

Jesus slaked His thirst for solace,

found the strength to breathe the heat

that still sparks our spines today.



Jerome L. McElroy




*Accepted in Sunstone (July 2010)