I wrote an Easter Poem, but it wasn’t ready yet last week. Luckily, it is still very much Easter Season.
Ekphrastic is a fun word, but it is only the beginning of why I wrote this poem. The pastor was reading John 20 on Easter, and I was tapping out a reflection on Mary’s mistaking Jesus as a gardener on my phone. Sermon’s are a good time for poetry in my opinion. This funny painting of Rembrandt’s came to mind when he first read the scripture, so I ran with it. Here is the result a few drafts later.
This Strange Gardener
After Rembrandt van Rijn’s The Risen Christ Appearing to Mary Magdalene, 1638
Rembrandt imagines Jesus in disguise,
Ridiculous in his costume. That hat!
That hat just makes me laugh! Sad Mary’s eyes
Can’t recognize him though she’s staring at
His risen face. Must be the gardener garb
in league with her despair, her bitter grief
That’s clinging to her eyes as soil on rhubarb,
As nails with black moon crescents underneath.
Are this strange Gardener’s hands quite dirty too?
Are his wounds as new moons? Has his digging filled
Each gash with that same dust They shaped and blew
Our life into? Black disks in palms that spilled
Out death? But Mary, laugh! Ridiculous!
Rabboni! Here now, unambiguous!
You can listen to me read it here