“Resurrection Psalm” by Kristina Erny (poem)

Barker, Keith_Stone of Help
Keith A. Barker (American, 1968–), Stone of Help, 2013–20

Lord of empty bowl and thrift store spoon,
of soil, of paint-flecked arms.
Lord of the mossed live oak, of blank paper, of lobe.
You are gingko leaf, its yellow tone,
an egg feather-stuck, a room.
The lingering scent of myrrh, of aloe, folded strips
of linen, cast light across the sandy floor of a tomb.

You live deep in ginger’s bite, snow’s precision,
the seed the wildflower’s thrown.
You are the Lord of all expectant
breath: height, cloud, vapor, mist.
You are the Lord of what’s been bitten down,
what’s dormant, the remaindered, the paused.

Molecule’s God, salamander’s God, ragweed’s
God, Lord of stones. Lord of green-bellied toad’s
burble and spit. Of broad-winged hawks,
of weather and wings, of wood mites’ burrows,
of whistles, of small things.

We balk, Lord, at how you nestle deep: our bulb, our bee,
juice, the Spirit of pear, the shadow of the dimple,
what’s under every ripple of the creek.

Lord of the hitch, the lob, the blink, the kiss, the shake.
Lord who rose, who wakes;
who lets us sleep, who satiates.
In our palms, cerebrum, nostrils, wrists,
your Spirit lives. What we miss,
forgive. 

In our liminal lives, Great and Patient Mystery,
bless us, and if you will,
share with us your margins today.

“Resurrection Psalm” by Kristina Erny, reproduced here with her permission, was originally published in the catalog for Again + Again (2021), a CIVA-organized photography exhibition that invites contemplation of the ordinary and extraordinary through the seasons of the Christian liturgical year. In the exhibition, as here, the poem is presented with Keith Barker’s photographic collage Stone of Help.

Kristina Erny is a third-culture person—an American raised in Seoul, who has spent much of her career teaching abroad. Most recently she has served as an assistant professor of English and the director of the creative writing program at Asbury University in Wilmore, Kentucky. Her poetry has appeared in the Los Angeles Review, Tupelo Quarterly, Rattle, Yemassee, Bluestem, and elsewhere, and her manuscript Wax of What’s Left was a multi-award finalist. She and her family are currently preparing to move to Shanghai, where they will continue their journey as international school educators.

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