By Chris Ribaudo
He waited to release a dove and for
its return. He labored for Rachel’s hand.
He stayed on a mountain for stone tablets.
He hid in arid caves, a fugitive.
Until some birds brought food from the sky,
he stayed by the flowing stream at Kerith.
She carried a mystery in her womb.
He thought about a kingdom while taking
the body down and wrapping it in cloth.
Meanwhile, creation patiently stood on
tiptoes to see the first sons and daughters
rise with neither fire nor ice but rebirth.
And this inky winter night with scattered
chips of stars shimmering all around
I stand in silence from the snow crunch.
Frozen clouds of breath hang in mid-air and
I understand. I am no different this
These verses tell the story of my recent internal reflections and feelings.
Frost said a poem “begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a loneliness.” Such was this poem’s inception for me. Its topic is “waiting,” as it is an Advent poem. It reflects the broader theme, “I am the vine; you are the branches,” reflecting the historical saints and present speaker’s waiting on God. The reader is implicitly invited to see themselves within the story, too. Together, we organically draw life from the vine as we collectively wait through time for God’s return. Time itself becomes a sacrament.
Allusions to three foundation stories are used to frame the poem and infuse it with emotional depth, layered meaning, and resonance: Robert Frost’s “Fire and Ice” and “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening,” as well as Tolkien’s “Return of the King” from Lord of the Rings.
The casual mood and conversational rhythm belies the formal iambic pentameter lines throughout, resulting in a more accessible and relatable experience for the reader.
This poem was submitted to the RezArts Festival. Learn more how you can participate here.
Chris Ribaudo is a writer and brand strategist who enjoys serving on the missions team. He and his wife, Lori, have been attending Resurrection since 2021.