Ten acres of refrigerated rural soil,
Thickly frosted in Easter's pre-dawn;
Subterranean saints, quilted in earth,
Smile warmly at the band of believers,
Huddled above to catcall verses of victory,
Into the mocking mien of chiseled stones;
The rocky trophies of mortality's coup,
North, south, west, and east of Eden.
Wizened hags, pimpled teens, snotty-nosed kids,
All dust to dust, prey of the funereal broom,
Swept beneath this rug of grass and weeds.
Most forgotten by man, yet all remembered,
By Him whose lungs breathed mud into man;
Each fruit of a womb, the apple of His eye.
Each soul, a priceless pearl, purchased
With crimson coinage minted in divinity's veins.
These wooden suitcases of rotting raiment,
Sepulchered beneath the worshipers' feet,
Travel on, transported by time not space,
From the hour of death to the day of judgment,
Ever ready to spill their contents upward,
No longer as bags of bones and soiled flesh,
But resculptured clay pulsating with life;
Lazaruses wiping graveyard dust from their feet.
Like champagne corks, grave-stones shall pop,
As unbottled bodies after long fermentation,
Bubble upward with fresh blood and skin,
Ready for their vintage soul waiting above;
And joined by that ragtag band of believers,
Who awoke early to go to the place of sleepers,
Defying death and mocking mortality,
Early one Easter morn.
"Easter Morn at the Cemetery" is included in The Infant Priest: Hymns and Poems. It is reprinted here by permission.