Tuesday, December 07, 2004


Gardening in Advent
(thanks Cindy)

You can’t dig up dahlia bulbs until after the frost
so now I dig as cold air stings my eyes to tears
gloved hands parsing out flower bulbs from hard soil
as I hum a hymn for this first Sunday of advent
O Come O Come Immanuel
and remember my grandmother who gave me these flowers.
They bloomed beautifully until only a few weeks ago
I had to wait until the first frost –
for the time to come for me to dig them out.
And ransom captive Israel
and I think of my friend,
blooming beautifully only a few weeks ago
and now she, too, is in the cold ground
waiting, waiting.
that mourns in lowly exile here
my hands brush dirt from bulbs.
I’ll have to hang Christmas lights soon,
I had been waiting
for this season of waiting to begin.
until the son of God appear
just waiting, with these flowers,
with my grandmother, with so many
Rejoice, rejoice! Immanuel shall come to thee O Israel
waiting for the first frost.


Katherine said...

this is a beautiful poem, bethany. it elicits the anguish of waiting: waiting for incarnation, waiting for resurrection.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful - intermnixing song lyrics to lead the reader, good way of being didactic without being too didactic.
- Aaron

MattyA said...

Lovely poem, Bethany - is it yours? If not, then whose?

bethany said...

yeah, it's mine.