by Samantha Proctor
The Spirt hovered over the darkness, devoid of solar systems and stardust, as Trinity discoursed and decided, designed a world and rooted a holy tree. A green garden grew with stingless bees and blackberries without thorns, A perfect incubator for life and love, a fertile and welcoming womb. From the dirt, a form was sculpted; God’s lips bent down to breathe. A garden keeper awoke, and a helper rose from his ribs. The gardeners explored the garden, watched as a stomach swollen beneath ribs birthed the first fawn, a miracle struggling on wobbly legs to rise from the dust. A wet, black button nose twitched at new smells as it sucked in its first breath. Marveling, the gardeners talked, entwined in each other beneath a shade tree. They teased, told tales, and dreamed of children from their own womb as they gave gifts of kisses without reserve and roses that knew no thorns. Then darkness slithered into the garden, spreading lies and sprouting thorns. Fear, for the first time, caused hearts to race and beat against ribs, and sin entered the bloodstream, attached to the walls of the womb. Escorted from the garden, they were sentenced to a world of death and dust. All they left were garments of fig leaves and a half-eaten dream beneath a tree as gardener and helper wandered and wept, forbidden fruit on their breath. For generations, the gardeners’ grandchildren drew in labored breaths, feeling the weight of their fallen nature in sweat and stinging thorns. They worked in vain until they withered and were cut down like fruitless trees. The heart of humanity ached, held captive in carcass cages of rotting ribs. Sin spread, brother turned on brother, blood cried out from dust as lost souls were strewn with sin before ever leaving the womb. Then a seed sprouted, something starting in the holy water of woman’s womb; incarnate being was wrapped in the body of a blessed babe made from God’s breath. He grew in stature, sinless, as sacred feet traipsed over fallen dust. He lived as man, bled untainted blood as sandaled feet caught on thorns. He worked, waited, walked, and ran as lungs burned behind the bones of ribs. He lived life with open arms and told stories under the canopies of trees. Then came sacrifice as spotless lamb was stretched out on a tree, and Mary wept bitterly for the promise that was whispered in her womb. Blood and water dripped as Roman rod, spear-tipped, ripped through ribs. “It is finished,” echoed the words the Savior said as He stole one last breath, and royal head hung limp, heavy from carrying a cursed crown of thorns, as the sky stormed and mud made from blood dried into dust. But ribs began to rise and fall as dead roots revived beneath a foretold tree. Forms of dust became sons and daughters as healing spread in Earth’s womb. Lungs relaxed, breath returned, and the Kingdom grew under a crown of thorns.
Samantha Proctor lives in Texas with her husband and a houseful of mischievous children. She enjoys spending time outdoors with her family and reading way past her bedtime. Her poems have been published twice in The Image, a university journal, and she is currently working on her master’s degree in English.