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Last words

On the day the poet Kong-cho died
after completing his full life's span
in unhindered freedom without any concern
about each day's food or a place to rest,
as I was helping care for him

he left me these words:
'Freedom has shackled my whole existence!'

More significantly, Jesus of Nazareth,
who has shown me eternal life,
when he was dying nailed to the cross
truly fulfilling the will of Him,

cried out,
'My God, my God,
why have you forsaken me?'

Did those laments and cries of distress arise
from scepticism about their lives?
from uncertainty about their lives?
No! Certainly nothing like that at all!

But supposing there had been no such confessions,
they would merely have been people who lived
guided by their own fantasy,
sustained by their own persistence;
therefore those words are
a final affirming of their lives,
a final perfecting of their lives:
lives they lived as something offered up.

Note: Kong-cho was the pen-name of the poet O Sang-sun.