My Affliction

Everywhere I look I see
signs of the cross
in telephone poles
at the busy intersection
of the homeless and
the morning commuters
in the brow of the woman
wearing the human billboard
advertising her three kids
and out of work husband
a veteran and a nice guy
trying to get back on his feet
after stepping on a landmine
at the bottom of the cross
and I don’t doubt it and wonder
if she’ll take the afternoon off
and drop the double sawbuck
just handed her all in one place.

I am tempted but the cross
at the local church remains
hidden behind a giant plastic
boastful Jesus his coiffed hair
combed and sprayed by the
altar ladies with their flowers
holy water and broken nails
who come and go they have
come and gone and still
they come and go
and carry their crosses
quietly and secretly
and do not advertise
their own club afflictions
and anyhow don’t allow
admittance of my cross.

Every Friday at three
in the afternoon
the altar ladies
take down the real
Jesus and put up
the plastic one
and Sunday after
masses they hang
the original back.

Meantime at the bottom
of the telephone pole
at the crossroads
the homeless gather
to disperse the day’s
take and affirm
nothing is finished
the kingdom never
comes but the will
is always done
daily bread is not hard
to come by not nearly
so hard as forgiveness
of debts and trespasses
or deliverance from evil.


  1. Linda kebbe says:

    Visions are harder to carry because they won’t hide from my mind
    Crosses are lighter than visions because I can pretend they are not there – sweep them under the rug.

    But the real reason I am writing is I couldn’t figure out where to comment about your painting, so I’m commenting about it here.
    I like it a lot. It speaks to me of the many different ways I can see a piece of art. Just the flowers, just the background, just the empty spaces, only the other objects in the piece. The space it hangs in, sets upon…. Wish I could look at it while writing this, but I’m not that tech savvy .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Joe Linker says:

      Hi, Linda. Thx for reading and comment. Cool painting. Visions & Crosses, sounds mideaval, courtly and saintly. Hope all’s well!


  2. That was my thought


  3. Some visions are not easy to carry


    1. Joe Linker says:

      some crosses heavier than others


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