Countee Cullen, “Simon the Cyrenian Speaks” [Poetry for Lent]

Poetry for Lent 2.001

Every Thursday during Lent, I am posting a poem I have found meaningful for entering into Jesus’ journey to the Cross. Here is Countee Cullen’s poem “Simon the Cyrenian Speaks.” Countee Cullen was an American poet and one of the most influential voices of the Harlem Renaissance.

He never spoke a word to me,
And yet he called my name.
He never gave a sign to me,
And yet I knew and came.

At first I said, “I will not bear
His cross upon my back—
He only seeks to place it there
Because my skin is black.”

But He was dying for a dream,
And He was very meek;
And in His eyes there shone a gleam
Men journey far to seek.

It was Himself my pity bought;
I did for Christ alone
What all of Rome could not have wrought
With bruise of lash or stone.