Consider the Lilies

                 Find something that speaks to you.
                 Listen to it, learn from it.
                                              ~ Bonnie Thurston

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Past the mid-point of Lent,
good intentions fallen
onto rocky ground,
my breath clouds
the ice-cold window.
I want the fecundity
of warm earth,
these clenched hands
pried open, light to pierce
this darkness.

Outside, wind whips
the tall grass. The red pine’s
branches lift and sway. On its plated
bark, sap has hardened into transparent
beads. Last summer’s leaves,
dry and curled, rattle
on the lower branches
of an oak. I pick up what remains
of an acorn:  cap, cup, bowl;
inside, a perfect circle
of brown, an eye
without sight, its seed
the absence that speaks.

Perhaps, by now, it has leapt,
transformed into muscle, bone,
the blood of a liquid-eyed deer;
or maybe it lies hidden
a yard away where, by instinct
or luck, a squirrel will unearth it
after a snowfall yet to come.
Or it will not be found,
but will lie dormant, forgotten,
until the day it bursts forth
insistent, green, and holy.


.                                               ~  Anna Egan Smucker



Anna Egan Smucker is the author of eight books including NO STAR NIGHTS (Knopf) winner of the International Reading Association Children’s Book Award. Recipient of a WV Arts Commission Artist Fellowship Award, her poems have been published in several anthologies and literary journals.