Good Friday Tree

Crux fidelis inter omnes
arbor una nobilis
As the cross takes shape
a fragrance of cypress, pine and cedar
fills the outhouse,
the boy who watches is a seer
he can also hear other things,
every day since the cross was cut
the wind has been a humming wire
with an edge that vibrates in his skull.
It disturbs the well water
in the yard.
Nulla silva talem profert
fronde, flora, germine
Today the humming has become a wail
that spirals higher and higher
the boy covers his ears,
a man comes and strokes the cross
breathes in the sharp smell
and carries the wood away.
The boy is afraid
there are no footprints.
Dulce lignum, dulce clavo,
dulce pondus sustinens
Dust clouds rise
the boy struggles to breathe
he is cold and the birds are silent,
the ground is shifting.
He pulls his blanket tight and cries
to any god who is listening,
strange eerie noises circle his mind.
It is so dark that the stars have come.
Wait say the voices of the newly dead.
crux fidelis inter omnes
arbor una nobilis
The wind is still
a bird sings.
The boy watches
a man on the cross
and the air is filled
with the fragrance
of pine, cypress and cedar.
The Latin translates as:
O faithful cross, noblest of all trees
No forest has put forth the likes of your leaves, your flowers, your buds
O sweet wood, with what sweet nails you support such a sweet burden!

Venantius Fortunatus (6th c.)