Orthodox Easter, 2020
In warmer places, where the sun lingers,
Fields offer the first harvest.
The farmer understood light’s labor
And the generosity of water:
Snap peas, strawberries, tomatoes,
Squash and green beans gladden the eye.
But this is not the usual season.
This year the farmer buries his harvest.
The tractor calls the crows to feast on
Earth’s fruit, crushed in the furrowed field.
Miles away the city parking lots are filled
With cars in which families wait for food.
Bird’s eye view shows them like toys in rows,
Figures with face masks and gloves
Place a box in each car with food flown in
From across the border. No one knows why
This is. The farmer plows the food
Into the soil while people starve in cars.
The hungry don’t go harvest
The fields, pay what they can.
The city streets are lined with trucks
Where hospital workers store the dead,
If each person could be remembered
With a fistful of flowers, the glasshouses
Would empty out. But this is not the time
For old prayers, rituals and incense.
We take away the bodies, following
The protocols for toxic waste.
Our world is sick this season, Lord, we’re sick
And dying, we plow our harvest in the fields.
My mother has kept the Lent as every year
And she has baked sweet bread.
We won’t go home for Resurrection.
The priest left the candles in the mailbox.
My father calls me “my little heart,” says
They can’t tell how this will end,
We recall the parable of the mustard seed,
We know the right time to plant
Is when the fields are plowed, and
Water from our tears is plentiful.