My plan is still to start posting weekly on April 21st, but I had a strong feeling that I should post this poem today as a kind of special occurrence since it it Easter. It's out of sequence in the entire body of poems, but it's right on for this moment. If this poem finds its way to you today, I hope it blesses you as much as it did me. Happy Easter!
The "you" in this poem is my sister, Marsha.
The Easter Egg Hunt
This time, when you arrive, I’m not shocked.
Immediately, we start walking single file
I’m in the rear chasing your shadow.
Your back is straight and your gait establishes a determined and speedy pace.
“Come on,” you urge. “We’ve got to get there fast.”
We march on broken sidewalk through blocks and blocks of Arts and Crafts
bungalows shaded by heavy, druidic oaks.
We cross Jefferson Boulevard and sweep through the Lavatorio.
The fragrance of clothes washing, detergent, and hot metal
fabrics the air.
The sunlight flashes so brightly that I am blinded for a moment. For
a moment, I’m not there.
Ashes rain down from an onyx sky. You turn, grasp my hand,
and drag me into a burial mound. We stoop so low that we’re
crawling. Instantly, the temperature drops twenty degrees, and
we’re entombed in silence. Hush, hush, hush.
There is work to be done: knitting together parts of the spirit
rent by grief. I recline inside a sarcophagus, and you scrub me
with soil and petals, water and oil. I am a reborn creature:
A creature reborn into a dark world of loss and death.
Hush. Hush the keening. Let it lie and lie.
A hawk soars into the chamber and alights on your wrist.
There is a communion of sorts-- a communication. You wrap
the hawk into the folds of your black shawl, take my hand,
and raise me up.
I blink into the bright Dallas sun. Two bunny ears protrude
from your head. The pink flesh is so delicate
(in fact, the same shade as your beatific lips)!
You’re giggling and hopping across the green lawn.
“Find the eggs! I hid them everywhere,” you snicker
as you disappear into the undergrowth.
When my basket is brimming, I explain all this to myself
in this way: a shaft of sunlight reached down and took
my hand. It was your hand, and it was the hand of love.