Good Friday at the Gardner – a poem by Wayne-Daniel Berard

Good Friday at the Gardner

I’m not ignoring you.
Nor am I minimizing
your suffering — there’s
not a minimalist in this
gallery. Rather, it’s filled
with images of you half-
smiling, far-sighted,
an enigma unwrapping
its riddle in this garden
of art. The only pain here
is the painfully beautiful.
Is that why I’ve come?
I no longer believe
in the beauty of pain
— yours or mine —
but I can love the
emerging aprilness
of this day, yet a
winterscape, signed
in its nearest corner
“J of N.”

(Note: Gardner Museum, Boston)


Wayne-Daniel Berard teaches English and Humanities at Nichols College in Dudley, MA. Wayne-Daniel is a Peace Chaplain, an interfaith clergy person, and a member of B’nai Or of Boston. He has published widely in both poetry and prose, and is the co-founding editor of Soul-Lit, an online journal of spiritual poetry. His latest chapbook is Christine Day, Love Poems. He lives in Mansfield, MA with his wife, The Lovely Christine.

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