Thursday, 20 April 2017

risus paschalis

            when dust laughs

by Jill Crainshaw


spring has ambushed winter,
and the dust of the earth is, yet again,
transfigured into laughter.

dust laughing? not here.
not in this world’s graveyard of abandoned joys
where dead-ended dreams whisper
like violated ghosts among tombs of those
too-soon returned to the earth.

you just smile and sink your spade
into the sun-warmed sod, costly
corruptions composted, turned, turned
again until dust recognizes dust.

then you wink, just once, and the
remembered dust, tantalized by the
tickle of a new feast’s first thin blade,
laughs.


an Easter Sunday poem based on Mary encountering the risen Jesus as a gardener in a graveyard.
                                                                                                            –John 20:1-18

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Jill Crainshaw is a professor at Wake Forest University School of Divinity in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She enjoys exploring how words give voice to unexpected ideas, insights and visions.