- Catholic Review - https://catholicreview.org -

The Fourth Nail

For Holy Week and the Easter Season, Father J. Collin Poston composed the following poem. It is written from the perspective of the man who made the nails which crucified Jesus. To watch Father Poston recite the poem, scroll down.

Iron sharpens iron 
And man sharpens man
This was once said 
Long before this Man.

Forging iron in fire
Is my craft and my trade
My work and my gift
And I love what Is made.

Fire with firm hammer
With much strength coming down 
And most carefully shaping 
For so many in this town.

These nails meant for wood
To fix and hold fast
I’ve made hundreds of them 
And they’re made to last.

As I worked in my shop
One slow Friday morning
A commotion ensued 
Outside without warning.

A man being led 
To a hill, bearing wood
He was bloody and bruised
And it didn’t look good.

I followed and watched 
Astonished and grieved 
What happened next
Is most hard to believe…

The nails that I made
With such love and devotion
Were driven to his hands
And to wood in one motion.

His torturers lifted him
High on a “Cross”
In such a dark moment 
All seemed so, so lost.

But something surprised
Rather shook me instead 
He prayed for his murderers
And then bowed his head. 

My nails, so simple
Now bathed in blood red
Had served a new purpose
Even with this Man dead.

The fourth nail did teach me
Three fixed to hand and feet
This man was a King
And Son of God I did meet.

I now fall on my knees 
In contrition and sorrow
But with great hope in His mercy
For today and tomorrow.

I went back to my shop
In grief and in tears 
But later, one said
“He’s alive”:

And a new death to my fears. 

Also see

Copyright © 2021 Catholic Review Media