First Light

Lyric Essay

Outside the barn, three of us. Adam and Earl invisible in the early November dark. We wait

We wait, silent bundles of fleece and flannel. Then the sounds of my warm breath, caught in my cupped hands. Sounds of tentative scratching from the chicken coop—of Earl, softly humming a bluegrass tune.

Nothing to see below, I look up and find the salted sky. The same sky that lightened long ago—when Mary arrived to find the garden tomb without a stone, and a cosmic light had dawned.

“Reckon it’s been night for about as long as it will be,” Earl says, and his bearded smile emerges from the dark.

One moment, the world hidden, terra obscura. The next, the veil pulled aside—the eastern sky shedding funeral black for a king’s purple.

 
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