Thinking about the wood for the Easter fire

April 5, 2017

The ground is damp beneath the stand of trees
and dampness penetrates my winter shoes.
I choose from fallen branches, piece by piece,
mere sticks that cannot know their privileged use.

Just sticks—such humble things always remain
docile to nature’s processes—this wood
will dry now, warmed and sheltered from the rain,
and all inclemency of sky that could
delay its transformation into fuel
for Easter Vigil’s sacred rite of fire.
On wood did life and death engage to duel:
prodigious combat then, soon blazing pyre.

But now, just sticks, they hold no life, no power.
They wait to burn for Christ and share his hour.