Poem – The Cross Near the Edge (By Frank Joussen)

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The Cross Near the Edge


A too small cross

in a big wayside shrine

amidst the fields

on the fertile loess soil,

soon to be devoured

by the bucket wheel excavator,

a monstrous word

for an even more monstrous machine.


The shrine made of dark red brick,

plain, simple, solid,

almost for eternity,

like the many farmhouses here;

The corpus on the cross alone,

Jesus without his mother,

without his best friend,

fighting a lost cause,

seemingly forgotten,

only in the company of

a little pedestal and some plastic waste.


Previously cherished and cared for

by devout Christians

who populated these now deserted country lanes,

on foot, with their tractors, on their bikes –

like my grandfather.


Now I know what I’m doing here,

why my bike is lying on the ground,

in the tall grass:

I’m standing here on behalf

of so many

before the abandoned Son of God

to whom grandpa prayed

day and night.


When the bucket wheel excavator

moves just a little closer

all these crucified Jesuses,

all these saints

from the many wayside crosses,

from the now forever closed

chapels and churches

will leave this disappearing country

with the inhabitants

in one big exodus –

possibly finding a new homeland

where people still pause

on their way

to thank God for His creation,

to ask His advice

so that they won’t go astray.


Author Bio: Frank Joussen

Frank Joussen is a German teacher, writer, translator and editor. His publications include two selections of his poetry, one of them being a bilingual collaboration with Romanian poet Ana Cicio. He has co-edited two international anthologies of poetry/fiction in India and one of short stories in Germany. His poems and short stories have also been published in a variety of literary magazines and anthologies in India, Australia, G.B., the Republic of Ireland, Germany, Romania, Malta, the U.S.A., Canada, India, China, Thailand and Japan; some of them have been translated into German, Romanian, Hindi and Chinese. His latest publications include Pulsar (G.B.), Panku Poems (Canada) and Earthborne (Australia), FreeXpresSion (Australia), Personal Bests Journal (G.B.), Setu (U.S.A.) and Phenomenal Literature (India).