Mary Oliver

POETRY: Three Lenten Poems

March 14, 2012

Christ as a Gardener The boxwoods planted in the park spell LIVE. I never noticed it until they died. Before, the entwined green had smudged the word unreadable. And when they take their own advice again — come spring, come Easter — no one will know a word is buried in the leaves. I love the way that Mary thought her resurrected Lord a gardener. It wasn’t just the broad-brimmed hat and muddy robe that fooled her: he was that changed. He looks across the unturned field, the riot Of unscythed grass, the smattering of wildflowers. Before he can stop himself, he’s on his knees. He roots up stubborn weeds, pinches the suckers, deciding order here — what lives, what dies, and how. But it goes deeper even than that. His hands burn and [...]