in the garden

a saint’s day
a feast day
a fast day
a day of celebration
a day of suffering

in the garden the peas and other seeds
are slumbering in the rain-soaked soil
dying to be alive in the sunlight
they lie there in their straightly-crooked paths
symbolic of the whole history of man
this suburban wilderness tamed
into a backyard garden of eden

i did not visit them tonight
in the dusk and twilight when nighthawks
fly between the trees as shadows
the rain was skin-pricking and face-biting
and the cold sought to settle in your bones
i did not go out to the garden this saint’s day

but You went, that feast night
out into the darkness of a garden
where the twisted trunks of trees
were Your only faithful company
there alone You looked past the exiled adam
into the Father’s flaming cup of wrathful wine
holding the totality of all our personal hells
and the sight of separation staggered You

if adam encountering eve’s apple had said
“not my will, but Thine,” life, peace would have lasted
but doubting man refused the feast, took, ate
saying brazenly “not Thy will, but mine!”
to restore the rebel runaway meant death, damnation
denying Yourself You said “not My will, but Thine”

You were the seed planted coldly in the ground
dying in darkness to bring me back to light
You walked the road straightly past all my crooked turns
slumbered for a season in the stillness of the grave
the promise of the whole history of man
satan’s sinfilled wilderness tamed
to bring us home to a greater eden

a day of suffering
a day of celebration
a fast day
a feast day
a son’s day