Atop a hill overlooking a harbour
of boats only the rich can afford,
He presides as a statue of the man
on Golgotha who was nailed to a tree
for denying Caesar's dominion over all
that moves in the streets of Jerusalem.
Isn't it a grand irony for him to preside
over the realms of the wealthy even as
the poor on the other side of the hill
wail for their daily bread where none
could be broken to nurture the hungry?
Christus Erectus, on the Nicaraguan hill,
how far have you come down from that tree
to raise your fingers in peace where there
is nothing but violence and greed? You
have come a long way from the Hill of Skulls
to tower over this pilgrim's photo-outlook
indicating the blessings first for the rulers.
How your resurrection has become a tourist
spectacle in some bricks and stones! Still.
I pray that my wobbling knee could still
make it down the hill like those drunken
praetorians who made off with your robe,
while I make off with mementoes of stones.
---ALBERT B. CASUGA
(In Nicaragua at the Shrine of the Divine Merciful Redeemer. San Juan Sud, Nicaragua.)