Finding Faith Among the Lilies

In the Cool of the Evening
by Andrew Hudgins

Among lilies I am Jehovah,
the Lord God walking in the cool of the evening,
delighting in everything that buds,
blossoms, grows—and sorrowing
for those that fail. When I can be,
I am Christ the healer, dusting for mildew,
spraying for black spot and white fly, plucking
aphids and iridescent green beetles
from the green leaves, and when the leaves
are sucked dry, sucked juiceless, brown, I pluck them too
and drop them in the dirt to try again
in another life, beyond the one we have briefly shared.
The Lord God walking in the cool of the evening.

Among students I am merely the questioner.
Have you read this? I ask. Have you considered that?
And with books I am merely the student,
asking why, why, why—exasperating myself
and even the long-dead with my questions.
But among dianthus, I am the decider:
Not here, but there. Not you, but something else.
The Lord God walking in the cool of the evening.

Beside bellflower, poppy, phlox,
I keep the deathwatch. Among lilies
I am the slow mourner for the soft bulb
rotting in damp clay, the quiet griever
over fire blight in the pyracantha—fire blight,
canker, scale—and when I fail
as Christ the healer, I succeed
as the adversary, the root-digger,
extirpator, the one who starts the fire—
the Lord God walking in the cool of the evening.

Beyond branch tips, where they scrape the sky,
I see a crisp bed in a row of beds.
The sheets are white, starched, and my skin is yellow,
yellow and going gray. Down the row,
the Lord God walks in the cool of the evening,
delighting, sorrowing, healing, failing to heal.
I am very calm, I am almost not afraid.
I look neither toward him nor away from him,
the Lord God walking in the cool of the evening.


Jana Nielson said...

Thanks for posting that poem. It is beautiful!

Darla said...

Nice. I'll have to show it to the resident gardener.


Phillippa said...

Nice to see the name Jehovah used in a poem- lovely poem too, quite melancholy..........

katydidnot said...

let's have someone read that at our wedding, ok?

Anonymous said...

this is very wonderful

BipolarLawyerCook said...

This is great. Thank you.