Gethsemane: A Poem by Mary Oliver

Apr 9, 2020


The grass never sleeps.
Or the roses.
Nor does the lily have a secret eye that shuts until morning.
Jesus said, wait with me. But the disciples slept.
The cricket has such splendid fringe on its feet,
and it sings, have you noticed, with its whole body,
and heaven knows if it ever sleeps.
Jesus said, wait with me. And maybe the stars did,
maybe the wind wound itself into a silver tree, and didn’t move, maybe
the lake far away, where once he walked as on a
blue pavement,
lay still and waited, wild awake.
Oh the dear bodies, slumped and eye-shut, that could not
keep that vigil, how they must have wept,
so utterly human, knowing this too
must be a part of the story.

(icon written by Julia Stankova)

For reflection in solitude or in the (virtual!) company of others: Watching. Waiting. Companionship. Presence. Absence. Fear. Love. Which of these Gethsemane words reflects your relationship with your dearest ones this Holy Week?