bitter sweetness

each year i look

at the empty space

next to me and think

maybe, maybe

at this year’s end

it will be filled

and the hand hidden

in too-long sweater sleeves

will be out in the open

and held

but each Christmas comes

and that place

is still empty

so i think

maybe next year

and wonder if

there’s ever any end

to wondering

the silence of waiting

is sometimes deafening


You promised Your hero

at the first twilight

of man

when we fell

from white to black

You vowed a rescuer

and for millennia

Your remnant waited

while mankind

went mad

Your prophets told

of One to come —

hero, head-crusher

righter of wrongings —

only to be mocked

and murdered

by those fickle fiends

awaiting saving

so for four hundred years

You held Your tongue

and let them stew

let them sorrow

in silence

then You set Your stage

in the midst of wondering

then You spoke

Your King into being

in the womb

of mary the obscure

a girl-child named

for bitterness

poor and unpretentious

in a dusty

backwater town

the weaver-together

of all creation

introduced into time

as the joining

of humanity and

the divine

how ridiculous

she could’ve said

how patently absurd

yet she took You

at Your Word

never doubting

only wondering

how, not if

Your promises

would be completed


take the bitter of my name

take the wondering

the waiting

the impatient industry

weave them into


form Your Word in me

Your servant-child

and if my unscarred hands

are empty

fill them

as You see fit

with Yours