Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: The Short End of the Stick (02/20/14)
TITLE: Hiding from tomorrow
By Margaret Kearley
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Revealed first light of wintry dawn.
Familiar early morning sounds
Announced a fresh day newly born.
Contently I snuggled down
In my dark corner, hidden, obscure,
A safe, protected hiding place
Out of the sight of old barn door.
Reckless companions shuffled forth,
Jostled and rolled good naturedly
To gain a place of prominence,
Down at the front, but no, not me!
Did they not know their waiting fate
If they were chosen for the sack?
My safety lay within the barn,
I burrowed deep, right at the back.
Tap, tap, tap – dread familiar sound!
The foe! He comes to take his pick,
His age-d step accompanied by
A knobbly, wooden, walking stick.
The barn door swings, the morning light
Pours in with all-revealing power
And highlights every dark recess,
I burrow deep – is this my hour?
Wide yawning open canvas bags
Await their fill – a dark death knell!
Great spadefuls of compatriots
Slide from my sight - Go, go, farewell!
Then, moment of supremest dread,
I feel the knobbly stick sweep by
And draw me from my darkened deeps
Into bright beams, lit by the sky.
I fall into the brimming sack,
Survival hopes now fully spent,
Resigned, I wait for burial,
A dark and dismal deep descent.
A sympathetic neighbour sighs,
‘My friend, my friend, be sad no more,
Our burial is not the end,
One day, with joy you’ll rise and soar.’
‘We bulbs are made for lowly place
Deep in the depths of darkness, yes,
But this is only for a time
Then beauty, more than you can guess,
Will spring from tiny seeds of life,
First shoots will burst from fertile ground,
Then leaves, then bud, then flower, then fruit
And harvest will explode, abound.'
Can this be true? Have I been blind
To life abundant just ahead?
I feel the tap of farmer’s stick,
He empts the sack on soily bed ,
Then carefully he takes each bulb
In old, experienced, wrinkled hand
And, with the short end of his stick,
Prepares a hole, exactly planned.
I see it all, a fool I was
To hide my life in dark dry shed.
I fall into my waiting room
To start the road to joy ahead.
John 12:24-25 ‘I tell you the truth, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.’
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