Jesus of the Broken Leg*

(Corpus Christi Greenvale)

He is the more than crucified,
The worse than dead.
He knows the day’s hunger;
He feels the night’s anger.
He lives the city’s misery;
He bears the streets’ treachery.
We do not meet him in the churches;
We would not want him in our houses.
He does not smell pleasant;
He does not speak politeness.
You will spot him under bridges;
You will find him in the gutter.
Greet him.
He is our shame and our reminder.

* Corpus Christi is a community of homeless alcoholic men. The crucifix in the chapel has been damaged, the plaster leg smashed, revealing the wire “bone” underneath. Above the crucifix are printed one of the seven last words of Christ, “I thirst.”