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How It All Ends: A Poem for Holy Saturday

I have to admit… Christmas is everyone’s favorite holiday (mine too), but something about the Lenten and Easter season feels deeper, more profound as I get older. Yet what do you do with Holy Saturday, that single dark day in between despair and hope? Last year, I did my best to capture the tiniest glimpse of what it might have been like for those left behind who didn’t yet know for sure how the story would end…

She used to say she loved
those TV movies about Jesus,
but hated the crucifixion scene

even though it was toned down
in the grains of 1970s film,
palatable to the eyes of those
eating dinner in front of
a flickering screen.

This is us, now, knowing
how it all ends, knowing
in three days the lungs of God
would reinflate.

Knowing the ending, could I
ever comprehend the blackness,
ever imagine the darkest
Saturday in history?

A King’s body shrouded in spices
and linen lay withering
behind stone,

The budding bloom of salvation,
crushed
careless
trod by
His creation.

Oh my God

today the sun scatters clouds
the sun that once turned away
at your final earthly breath
as the lion lay shorn and still.

May I never forget
the darkest day of history,
spring stopped, waiting,
pressing her face
at the tomb’s door.

An Epic Tale in Eight Hours a Day

[Editor's note: Jen Rose has been a familiar name around the Rabbit Room for just about as long as it's been in existence. Today I'm happy to see her here with her first post as one of our new contributors. Welcome, Jen. We're glad you're here.]

When my aunt passed away, I inherited a little black journal of my grandfather’s that she had kept. It’s just big enough to hold in one hand, the paper so soft and thin, and his light, somewhat cramped penciled handwriting is fading with the years. He died just months before I was born, and all my life I’d been told how much alike we were, so this little piece of him, traveling to me from across the decades, was a treasure indeed.

One day, I started to read it. Though I hoped for insight, outpourings of the depths of his soul, I got entries like this.

Fri February 7, 1947

Worked 8 hrs today, which went by very well.

Pay day. Fair all day.

These were the makings of life. There was the birth of dad’s eldest sister, years before he was a thought. There were fair and warm days working in a shipyard. There were days work went well and days it went slow. There were days of cultivating gardens and visiting family and, occasionally, missing the bus.

My grandfather was a simple man. He went to a Bible college in New York, wanted to be a preacher, somehow made his way from New England to Florida, and supported his growing family by working on ships and in orange groves. He never drove. His kids played marbles in the dirt road.