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Recorded for Poem-a-Day, September 20, 2016.
About this Poem 

“The poem began in a conversation with Gary Paul Nathan in which he told me this remarkable teaching from a monk who yoked the Big Bang with the religious notion of incarnation—and the difficulty of that process. I wanted to meander around in that idea in which the sacred and secular seemed one and the same.”
—Alison Hawthorne Deming

Resurrection

My friend a writer and scientist
has retreated to a monastery
where he has submitted himself
out of exhaustion to not knowing.
He’s been thinking about
the incarnation a.k.a. Big Bang
after hearing a monk’s teaching
that crucifixion was not the hard part
for Christ. Incarnation was.
How to squeeze all of that
all-of-that into a body. I woke
that Easter to think of the Yaqui
celebrations taking place in our city
the culminating ritual of the Gloria
when the disruptive spirits
with their clacking daggers and swords
are repelled from the sanctuary
by women and children
throwing cottonwood leaves and confetti
and then my mother rose
in me rose from the anguish
of her hospice bed a woman
who expected to direct all the action
complaining to her nurse
I’ve been here three days
and I’m not dead yet—not ready
at one hundred and two to give up
control even to giving up control.
I helped with the morphine clicker.
Peace peace peace the stilling
at her throat the hazel eye
become a glassy marble. Yet here she is
an Easter irreverent still rising
to dress in loud pastels
and turn me loose
in Connecticut woods to hunt
my basket of marshmallow eggs
jelly beans and chocolate rabbit
there fakeries of nature made vestal
incarnated in their nest of shiny manufactured grass.

for Gary Paul Nabhan 

Copyright © 2016 by Alison Hawthorne Deming. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on September 20, 2016, by the Academy of American Poets.

Copyright © 2016 by Alison Hawthorne Deming. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on September 20, 2016, by the Academy of American Poets.

Alison Hawthorne Deming

Alison Hawthorne Deming

Poet and essayist Alison Hawthorne Deming was born in Connecticut in 1946

by this poet

poem

The queen grows fat beneath my house
while drones infest the walls

reconnaissance to feed her glut,
wood ripped from studs and joists.

I’ll pay to drill the slab and ruin
her pestilential nest. How to find 

the song in this day’s summons? 
I’ve been
poem

Some did not want to alter the design
when the failure message
said massive problem with oxygen.
Some wanted to live full tilt with risk.

By then we were too weak for daily chores:
feeding chickens, hoeing yams,
calibrating pH this and N2 that . . .
felt like halfway summiting