Joseph A Farina

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good friday

blackclad nuns
yardsticks in hand
command attention
on the day of Christ’s crucifixion
classrooms divided
by gender readying to
march to the waiting church
where we are to pray
the stations of the cross
girls’ heads covered
with handkerchiefs, scarves
or brown paper towels
boys’ shirts tucked in
respecting the rules of
proper dress in the house of god

within the Lenten draped church
we begin the 14-step recreation
of the sorrowful way of Christ’s passion and death
prayers at each station reverberate
heads bowed one eye always on sister
we endure the too long annual rite
waiting waiting till the last station
our faces showing the requisite sadness
where we can leave respectfully in line
the early dismissal from school
we run home to enjoy the pleasures
of the pagan symbols and rites of easter

Joseph A Farina is a retired lawyer and award-winning poet, in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada. His poems have appeared in Philadelphia Poets, Tower Poetry, The Windsor Review, and Tamaracks: Canadian Poetry for the 21st Century. He has two books of poetry published, The Cancer Chronicles and The Ghosts of Water Street.

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Photo Credit: “The Praying Children” by Werner Kunz, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0, via

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