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Judith Frost

Honorable Mention 2007 Utmost Christian Poetry Contest $150
Including Founder's Prize of $50

Judith Frost is a wife and mother of one teenage daughter, living in Montreal, Quebec. She acknowledges having been blessed with several wonderful poetry mentors. Her work has appeared in/been accepted by Prairie Messenger, Esprit, Glad Tidings, Devo’zine and Penwood Review. Judith takes turns immersing herself in poetry, children’s writing, quilting, volunteering with a group of second graders, and trying to find a creative use for rejection slips!

This poem came out of my time at home with my young daughter when it seemed that everyone else had important jobs. In spite of knowing God had called me to be at there, I did struggle with issues of worth.

So much of life is about obedience, about letting go; watching our plans float away with a hint of ambivalence, knowing that God has us by the hand, and He’s smiling.

Twisting the Question

Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
                         From
The Summer Day by Mary Oliver

Why, with this one wild and precious life
do we build so high, plan so far,
lean into tomorrow?

And all the while the green is calling
The river’s tears roll over and over,
their churning blue spin foam and light

A glance is all I have for her today because
I am afraid
of this one wild and precious life
slipping through my fingers
and what would they think?

… if I spent mine by a wood,
pretending to be
a bird, while the fledgling hopped about me,
her smile lifting me on wings,
her silver laugh painting me
a woman I’d never met, and she, a badger,
or a bear in another burrow we fell down
together under that willow tree,
bent over a rippling current
of paddling ducks

I don’t want to be afraid anymore
as I sit with these patient river notes,
twist the question between my fingers
like the grasses, like the daisies
I poke between your pink toes,

and still the green is calling
The river’s tears roll over and over,
singing behind this grass-fragrant light

I give you this lifetime because
I am afraid
of this one wild and precious life
slipping through my fingers
and what would I remember?

…so I spend mine with you by the river,
conversing with herons,
chatting with a muskrat
who never asks my name, loving
the way the evening sun turns
your hair to gold and holds it there
in cupped hands
for just a moment
before the cup falls,
melting to copper

I don’t want to be afraid anymore
as I sit by scattered light mirrored in swirling eddies,
twist the question between my fingers
like the grasses,
like the daisies I poke between your knobbly toes,

like my ambivalent heart as I watch my plans
catch for a moment
on a smooth rock mid-river,

and disappear.

Copyright ©2007 by Judith Frost