Goodbye to April, my special month–which was even more special to me this year because of how I was able to reconnect with my poetry. I didn’t honestly expect to write thirty poems when I started, but I’ve done it. Some of them are even kind of decent. I have new hope.
The day 30 prompt at Poetic Asides was “take the phrase ‘Bury the (blank),’ replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, then write your poem.” I wanted to avoid the obvious takes: bury the hatchet, bury the dead, bury the treasure, etc. I finally Googled “bury the” followed by a letter of the alphabet. That’s how I turned up the practice referenced in this poem; apparently it’s quite popular during Lent, but I’d never heard of it in my life:
BURY THE ALLELUIA
She wasn’t a church-goer,
but she was joyfully devout,
praising the Lord in word and song,
even when she was alone. “Alleluia”
was her salute, her prayer, her affirmation,
her cry of ecstasy and adulation
when the sun broke through the winter clouds
or she found her lost shoe behind the piano.
Yet, every Lenten season she buried
the Alleluia; not as a banner or special egg
she hid away until the Resurrection.
It was something only her soul
could conceal from her eager desire to jubilate.
It was a taxing sacrifice, more challenging
than anyone else’s fast from chocolate
or a favorite TV program.
On Easter morning, she allowed
consciousness to ease over her
like the soft light at a sunrise service.
“He is risen,” she whispered. That was the signal
for the Alleluia to come out of hiding,
riding her voice like a rocket of vocal fireworks,
an explosion of rapture that shot her
out of bed. “Alleluia!” she exulted
to the wet grass and the first buds of forsythia.
“Alleluia!” to the family climbing into the van
for church, to the hungover guy next door
padding out for his paper. “Alleluia!”
to the golden retriever passing by with her master,
to the person at the other end of every phone call
she answered the rest of that glorious day.