It feels I’ve dropped into a Charles Wright poem:
it’s Maundy Thursday, April, a fluke snow
on the 38th parallel—just past the time we put
our scarves and thick socks away—coats
with heavy flakes the pink redbuds,
makes jagged and weights the tender green
leafbuds of every broadleaf just unfolding
and threatens what daffodils remain;
the hard frost tonight will derail for sure
what hopes the irises had for a grand opening.
Still ahead: Great and Holy Friday, Holy
Saturday then Pascha. The ivory-vested bishop—
will announce the tomb is empty,
sealed and hollow as lilies at midnight,
his mitre spangling by candlelight—will rap
his crosier three times on the giant doors
and boom: “The King of Glory shall enter!”
while his flock huddles on the steps,
warmed, too, by thoughts of impending
indoor feasts—sweetbreads, eggs and bacon, cheeses,
wines and sliced beef warming in chafing dishes.
Tonight this scene remains as fey as the dogwoods
crusted with ice, as distant as hell and back.
Death is alive and well, and so am I.
No Lenten discipline exerts its crescendo: dinner
tonight is fish and parmesan-laced farfalle,
oily antipastos, the in-laws’ bubbly lambrusco.
No mind of winter welcomes spring.
The clunk of flatware on farberware, a mouth
to feed, drowns out temptations to be elsewhere
or otherwise. There’s lament enough
without troubling the other world; hey Judas,
please remember what a choice cut of love you have…
The ground is full to bursting.
About the Author:
John Estes is a doctoral student and instructor at the University of Missouri in Columbia. Recent poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Another Chicago Magazine, Zoland Poetry, Ninth Letter, The Journal, Notre Dame Review, Literary Imagination and other places. A chapbook, Breakfast with Blake at the Laocoön, is available from Finishing Line Press. See more of his work at www.johnestes.org.