The church is darkened,
a candle lit, chanting voices
permeate this temple of Presence.
Faithful stand and pray,
glowing icon, flickering.
her image comfort, bathed in
confidence, care, bedecked
in blooms, stark sign of beauty
and the oath of Lent.
Life ebbing away, always,
day after day, but now listening:
"As for a woman, and man,
the living days are like grass,
like a flower in the field, flourishing,
and then the wind blows over it,
and it is gone. Its sweet yellow
no longer has its place." (Psalm 103:15-16) Will blossoms
so tender in scent necklacing
the Theotokos -- dry and disappear?
Or is she a lotus, opening to the divine?
"Opening her petals like roses
planted near running water" (Sirach 39:13).
"The mercy of the Lord is from
everlasting to everlasting,
for those who have awe
for the presence of Being." (Psalm 103:17)
Imagining: "For see
the winter is past, the rains and snow
are over and gone. Flowers shoot
up, appearing on earth,
time for pruning vines has come,
and the song of the dove is heard." (Song of Songs 2:11-12)
A shoot sprouts from the stump of Jesse,
green bud emerges from an ancient tree,
from roots of what is to be. (Isaiah 11:1)
We wait and pray and vow to repent.
Flowering birth, an assurance in Lent.
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