Literary Issue: By Robert Hochberg
Falling ascent, Golgotha-ward;
Heavy the load heaven assigned.
Lances impel, still no lament
Passes your lips, parched as they are.
How no retreat, innocent man?
Agony waits, promising death.
While, in your wake, Lazarus lives.
Come Lord, arise, Simon is here.
“Darling, I’m here, please take my arm.”
Eyes lock on mine, churning with strength.
Strength whence, staunch wife? leaving behind
Children and life, knowing what waits
Three floors above. Then we resume
Climbing the Sloan Kettering stairs.
Rob Hochberg teaches Computer Science at the University of Dallas.
The poet has often been surprised by the strength shown by people who keep going knowing that something very painful awaits; Preparing for a difficult conversation with a child, heading into a courtroom to settle an unsought-for divorce, or in his case, watching his wife deal heroically with surgery, chemotherapy, and all that went with that. It is an aid that Christ set us an example.