Solid Rock
2008 by Ellin Anderson

Ellin Anderson

She rose like a springing lily
From the bed where she had lain;
No thorns of fire, nor mournful choir,
But a wreath of others' pain
Had lingered to be brushed aside. How poor, how vain
And somehow silly
(She thought) to look no higher
Than their own handkerchiefs, and grieve;
And so, she took her leave.

She felt no worse
For being dead; her hair
Had turned from white to brown.
Likewise, a reverse
(As when spring finds northern lands),
To dress in what had been her dress
When the fields were newly seeded,
When she had been most fair,
Most loved, most needed.
Blue gingham with dark tress —
And, as she looked down,
On the apron-cotton, stiff with starch,
The prints of two small reaching hands
Moved with the winds of March.

No more!  
Oh, what could surpass that glory!
Still, she had known
To believe the strange story,
And so, she sought the riverside
To gaze, alone,
Towards that further shore
Where she must bide.

Not a chart of her tomorrows
But Someone, she could see —
Less the battered Man of Sorrows
Than a King of Araby.
There, in the cold she could not feel
Beyond the freshet
Silver as steel,
Where the woods were wild,
He stood, like the watchful father
Of an only child.
In a robe that shone
Like diamond sand,
He beckoned to her
With one strong hand
Across the lather
That stretched its net
Of sparkling opal and violet,
So that she might come
Before the throne
Where stars gather
In splendor like Byzantium.

How her heart leapt
To see that face!
So kind, so wise —
That look of regal grace
With the command: "Arise!"
Hers to adore,
This Prince of Ever-After,
Who stood with hands on sides
And lips resisting laughter,
To see how she stepped
Lightly off the land,
Over the water's roar,
Onto its silver lace.
And she thought: How absurd
To flap my arms, like a balancing bird,
And wobble like a little deer
When He wants bold strides.

Having read her fear
Of all she might lose
If the dead could drown,
He called out: Don't look down!

Such vernal light
Once warmed a stable;
Sun-gold and snow-bright,
It graced a winter's table
Where she had worn those same brown shoes,
Not even flecked with foam.
Her hand within His calloused hand,
Fondly, He led her home.

2008 by Ellin Anderson. All rights reserved. No part of  this work may be copied or used in any way without written  permission from the author.




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The Revenants

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We Who Refuse to Die
The Field of Flax
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Aix Sponsa
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The Lovers' Forest
The Stray Cat
Ellin Anderson's Biography