A View of Lazarus
See he is coming from the tomb. His eyes
Need shelter from the light. We crowd and press
Towards him, some say nothing. One or two
Whisper. Others look afraid but stare,
Most turn their eyes away. Such a strange
Light is coming from behind the man
Brought back from death and coughing in the breeze.
One by one his senses set to work
To ease this man to us. A look of loss
Shows on his features but he does not speak.
Some begin to question him about
What dying felt like and how he did break
Back to us. He can relive our doubt,
But he seems dumb and we don’t want to make
His rising difficult although we long
To look back at the glimmering kingdom he
Has left, if Paradise is there
But is not for the snatching. Lazarus now
Opens his eyes and it’s at us he stares
As if we all were strangers. Then it’s odd,
But we feel we should stop talking. Lazarus is,
Yes no doubt of it, now shedding tears,
And whispering quietly, God, O no, dear God.
I found this poem some years ago and made a photocopy of it. Unfortunately I didn’t write down the author and now it’s haunting me. I thought it was Elizabeth Jennings, but I can’t see it listed amongst her poems. Does anyone know who wrote it?
Thanks to Tess for researching this. My hunch was right, it is Elizabeth Jennings