|Oliver exploring the ruins of the burnt mission church at San Juan Capistrano|
I had nothing to write of Easter, of eggs, forgotten, still brown and white on their tempered shelf, of the slip out of church, the sidle down the two-year aisle, the children running to fill plastic eggs with candy and the pull away of ritual. I had nothing to write of Easter.
Last night I went to Royce Hall and heard the poets Billy Collins and Kay Ryan in conversation. They were witty and kind and funny and in love with words.
Kay Ryan read this poem, and now I have something to write of Easter:
The Palm at the End of the Mind
After fulfilling everything
one two three he came back again
free, no more prophecy requiring
that he enter the city just this way,
no more set-up treacheries.
It was the day after Easter. He adored
the eggshell litter and the cellophane
caught in the grass. Each door he passed
swung with its own business, all the
witnesses along his route of pain
again distracted by fear of loss
or hope of gain. It was wonderful
to be a man, bewildered by
so many flowers, the rush
and ebb of hours, his own
whole heart exposed, then