Jesse’s Stem


In a place beyond maps, there once stood a tree

Yielding fruit of promise, which came at a cost.

In that garden of life, we reached for deceit –

And death was there birthed and innocence lost.

God’s footsteps came near bearing nothing but love,

With longing his lips sweetly calling our name,

Yet we hid in shadows, preferring the dark

Insistent that distance might cover our shame.

Death was born from a tree and our roots it felled;

God’s footsteps this time drag the weight of the wood.

Death is borne on a tree, as love is compelled

To hang from its branches as fruit that is good.

See, how fragrant blossom now grows from Jesse’s stem;

From winter’s barren wood, life’s Spring unfurls again.

 Susannah Underwood 2017

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