Easter Service


I’m on the trail early, want to look
at the tulips again, want to see

if the rabbit is still around. I hear
voices lifted in song, choir-like,

coming from Fairhaven Park,
lilting over Padden Creek. I wonder

if this might be the winding down
of a sunrise service. It is, after all,

Easter morning. Well off the trail,
a gray-hooded man reclines,

his legs fully extended. He appears
engrossed in listening to the choir.

I leave him in peace, continue
down the trail.


Off the lower trail, I find a paper bag
partially crumpled, a couple

of discarded Coors Light cans.
Who is responsible?

East of the last footbridge over
earthen fill, a figure in a sleeping bag

straddles the trail. A figure
which stirs slightly, alive.

I step by gingerly, so as not to wake
the figure. Who is responsible?

Yards away from the estuary I see
a can in a paper bag, another can

on the creek bank. My mood lifts
after I see the tulips and the rabbit

again. I repeat a prayer for peace,
stand watching the estuary,

enjoying the commotion and fuss
of two to three dozen gulls

and crows wheeling and calling
over a man scattering chunks of bread
on the water.


On this day I will be responsible.

I return to the trail, wake the figure,
fear wreckage or sudden rage,

receive neither. A youngish man,
twenties, sleepy-eyed.

I apologize for waking him, ask
if he knows there’s a shelter in town.

He assures me he isn’t homeless,
assures me he’s on his way to Alaska,

assures me he’s waiting for some
money to come in. I suggest

that a safer place for him to camp
would be in a copse of trees nearby,

tell him a couple of times
I just wanted to make sure you were OK.

I wish him a safe trip, take my leave.
I have more work to do;

I begin collecting the paper bags
and aluminum cans I saw.

I head home with my hands full:
it is, after all, Easter morning —
and I finally have an Easter poem.


Andrew Shattuck McBride
NaPoWriMo 2014 ~ Day 25

About Andrew Shattuck McBride

I am a writer, editor, writing coach, and consultant. I work in a variety of genres, including poetry, short stories, and creative non-fiction. I also have a couple of novels simmering on back burners. THANK YOU to Nan Macy of Village Books for taking this photo (June 2011).
This entry was posted in Andrew Shattuck McBride Writer, Can We Talk?, NaPoWriMo ~ 2014, Poets, Samples, Trail Offerings, Transformation. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Easter Service

  1. susanissima says:

    I felt like I was walking along with you on the trail, Andy. A touching way to spend an Easter morning!

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