by Geoff Knowlton
(A poetic reflection on the book found in the Hebrew Scriptures) You were widowed at the barley harvest. When you screamed unanswered prayers up to God. When your wealth and quickly gathered water By field hands could not quench the scorching heat. It was the heat, but they said it was God. You did well, living your life without him, Until the people said it of themselves. Until they felt hope and God leaving them. But you answered with a bloody trophy. Its ghastly drips of victory held high. You will question the years of your dotage As the crowd honors and celebrates you. As they give you praise for courage and pluck But you will remember the barley field; Its heat that made you a stubborn widow. You know that people say hope is fragile. For you it is a relentless spirit For you have seen the dry barley harvest Bringing an end to the life that had been. Its tragedy bringing you something new.
Geoff Knowlton is a psychotherapist specializing in counseling children in foster care. His poetry has been published in various places including Friends Journal, the journal for Quakers. He has training in psychology and Christian theology and often writes about his experiences with his clients and other places as he reflects on the deeper truths revealed through them. Mr. Knowlton lives in Central Massachusetts.