Easter: Reprise, 2018



Eight years ago (Eight years? Can it be that long?) I wrote a poem about Resurrection. Pam and I hadn’t been together very long, and everything in life was fresh and new.

The backstory goes like this:  One spring morning Pam had gotten up early, as usual, and was on her way to work, when she discovered our cat Moses cornering a baby rabbit in the carport. She woke me up, and while she held Moses at bay, I rescued the bunny and  sent him on his way. Out of that brief but memorable experience came the poem.

In the years since then, life has changed radically. Our marriage has settled into a lovely routine of togetherness, tranquility, and adventure. We’ve moved to South America–to Cuenca, Ecuador–and this week we’re preparing for another move, this time to the small town of Cotacachi, nestled between two volcanoes two hours north of Quito.

But life hasn’t been all tranquilidad. We’ve had our times of struggle and conflict. Living as an expat in a foreign culture brings its share of challenges and frustrations. And it occurs to me that, wherever we are, whoever we’re with, whatever our life circumstances, we live with the reality of Death and Resurrection. The death of How We Envisioned It, and the resurrection of How Much Better It Can Be. The death of What I Thought I Wanted and the resurrection of Unexpected Gifts of Grace.

And so, on this Easter Sunday morning, I reprise the poem I wrote eight years ago, in gratitude for recent resurrections, for new dreams, for love beyond imagining. And this I pray:  May my eyes always be open to What Might Be, and my heart attuned to Who I Might Become.


“The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you;
don’t go back to sleep.”

Crouched in the darkness
with its back to the predator,
the prey shivers,
for the final blow
of tooth and claw.

I take it in my hands,
stroke the brown baby fur
between its ears,
whisper a word of comfort,
and feel the panicked heartbeat
thrumming against my lifeline.

How safe it is
cradled between my palms,
it cannot comprehend;
cannot understand
the assurances I murmur,
cannot know
the love I feel.

And so I release it to the woods,
prod its furry backside
and send it hopping
toward its mama,
toward the dawn.

In this moment
at cockcrow,
standing at the verge of the trees
in my pajamas,
I bear witness to the ultimate grace:
without a death. 

(Not nearly so dramatic, perhaps,
but easier on the bunny.)

And I wonder:
How many Easter mornings
have dawned without me
I was asleep?

© 2010 by Penelope J. Stokes

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5 Responses to Easter: Reprise, 2018

  1. lovely. will miss you guys but know good things await!

  2. Susan says:

    What a beautiful post and poem, Penny. Thanks for the inspiration.

  3. Maren says:

    I remember this poem, Penny, and I put it in the middle of a sermon. It is a blessing to me today. Safe travels in your move.

  4. DiAnn Grimes says:

    Dear Penny,
    Thank you for the post and for the poem. Your writing is so simple and true. I love it. Your prose is like your poetry the same simple and true words that mean so much. Thank you. I am working on being that say way. We had a wonderful Easter, even though an older woman who Kirk called his
    “adopted mother” passed away early this Easter morning. What a wonderful day to die–I hope that does not sound strange (it probably does), but the holiest of all Christian days seems like a grand day to give up the bonds of this earth and drift up to heaven.
    Love you,

  5. Thanks so much for this, DiAnn. I do appreciate it.

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