Easter sunrise service here – six am by Maren Tirabassi

Easter sunrise service here – six am

The sandwich board is just off the highway
as it bends at the old trail head
where the state is widening the road.

People pull off on the shoulder
behind construction equipment –
a couple teenagers with a bag of donuts,
mother with her sleepy six-year old in her arms,
young woman just passing through
New Hampshire on her way to Georgia,
men who stand alone, and
college students awake from last night.

A few know each other – folks from the church
who will invite everyone back for breakfast,
and some will come,
warm their hands on coffee cups,
eat those egg casseroles that
seem to grow in church basements,
and shyly talk about themselves.
Most will drive away – silent as they came
and full of what they needed –

old Easter hymns, an impossibly
hopeful story
about a woman who meets
the man she saw butchered
walking around like nothing so much
as a gardener … maybe
that explains the dirty broken hands,

the prayers of people
up to their ankles in April snow,
up to their lives in hard luck and blessing,
and the sun breaking the tree line
just at the benediction –

which is, of course, mostly for the highway,
those who are passing through,
and the way we try for one another
to make the roads wider.

Maren C. Tirabassi is an ordained minister and a former Portsmouth poet laureate. This poem was inspired by the wonderful folks at Union UCC Church in Madbury, New Hampshire.
Maren has written ten books for Pilgrim Press. The Depth of Wells is poetry from Peter Randall Publishers and – just for fun -- Footlights and Fairy Dust is a children’s book available from Revolution Booksellers.

Used with the permission of the poet. All rights reserved.
Photo is by Diane Karr and appears here with her permission. All rights reserved.

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