My town has a plaster cast
made before the crazy man
took a hammer to the Christ
lying sensuously on
Mary’s big, broad lap. He’s nude
except for a strip of cloth
she keeps staring at. A Bride-
…Child-of-God, yet also Mother-
of-God: she looks sixteen…
Rome’s sculpture is behind glass
now. Vandals who have seen
sex instead of symbol pass
safely by, kept yards away.
Here we still come close: see! pray!
– Steve Shoemaker, host of Keepin’ the Faith, WILL, Urbana, Illinois.
Note: The cast of the Pieta is in the Spurlock Museum of World Cultures at the University of Illinois, Urbana.