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The Single Life

A poem

Published on:
January 14, 2019
Read time:
2 min.
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i.

Line up the days in rows;
leave space between them.
Guard those spaces
from weeds and rabbits and slugs.
Watch that the herbs do not flower
and embitter the leaves.
Give the peas a trellis,
or find their vines entangled,
clinging to stalk and branch and leaf.
Pick off anything withered;
watch where the light you cannot summon
falls across the hours and the seasons.
Welcome the rainwater,
the way it accentuates
every scent.

ii.

Mary was drawing water
for her garden when Gabriel appeared.
She dropped her pitcher,
her knees buckled,
hit the ground,
where at first her eyes
sought refuge
from the penetrating light.
A voice like many waters
called her name.
“Do not be afraid.”
Then the announcement:
Allow the Holy Spirit
to enter the recess within you
and plant there
a seed
you will bear, deliver,
for a time you will tend.
His fruit will save.
“Let it be unto me,”
she replied.

She could not have imagined this for her life,
nor how this precious seed in her womb
would open her to dagger’s wound.

iii.

Offer your emptiness.
Do not be afraid
of tears.
Joined by light
and by another’s hidden Presence,
you cannot predict what crop it will yield.

iv.

When you find weeds,
do not rush to yank them.
First, sit among them
with the lover of your soul.
Meet his gaze
and realize he does not define you
by dandelion or ragweed,
but by his life
uniquely
brought to bear
in you.

v.

If a woman wears a dress
in a room by herself,
is she still beautiful?

If she lies in bed alone,
are the curves of her body
still lovely?

If in her womb
she has never received a seed,
will she bear fruit?

If she never draws
an infant mouth to her breast,
what will be her legacy?

When she ponders these things
in her heart by moonlight,
do you hear her?

When she offers you
these aching, fallow spaces,
what will you plant in them?

Jolene Nolte
Jolene currently lives in the loudest house on the quietest street in Vancouver, British Columbia. There, she revels in the innumerable shades of green and the fact that she does not have to choose between mountains and the ocean. She is studying theology and poetry at Regent College.

Cover photo by Nikola Jovanovic.

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