This Easter Pilgrim’s Prayer
By: Courtney Beck
To the Lord of the life I’ve always wanted:
On our walk to the empty school last week
I passed the oak tree the workers had cut down
the week before. We watched them do it
my kids and I. We had hurried quickly by in
fact, to avoid the noise of the chainsaws and the
cars that distracted us from Springtime pinks and greens
we felt sure would unfold before us, just for us.
We hustled to the abandoned school
But the workers were there too, cutting
the grass in perfect lines that would, for a minute,
absorb my daughter’s heart as she sang to the
walls and the bees and her baby brother.
And for that minute we were all so blissfully
unaware of that oak tree up the road,
cut to the root for no apparent reason
but that it’s life was in the way of someone’s progress.
Our apartment is too cramped and the school,
we now know, is too empty and so
I’m left wondering how you intend to help us?
The children are clamoring, the chainsaw’s roared to life
and we lie down like dead oak trees with the sap
dripping down the record of our endurance.
We wait in dimmed and depressed concern for that
life we’ve always wanted
but found cut down, cut back and left for dead.
It must rise from the earth someway, somehow
like the Springtime, just for us.
And also for these children at this
empty school who would surely sing about the trees
if they came to life before their very eyes.
If they came to life despite us.
If they came to life like a miracle,
just for us.