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Matt Rust

Third Prize 2007 Novice Christian Poetry Contest $100

About this Christian Poet:
Starting college as a math major at Arizona State University, all it took was one English elective and one reading of Ralph Ellison's "King of the Bingo Game" to completely open my eyes to the creative beauty of words and language. One B.A. in English, seventeen years of marriage, four sons, and writing have been a path Christ has used to mold my heart, humble my spirit, and encourage me to accept His grace and love.

"Peach Preserves" was first written on a difficult Thursday where I needed to understand and communicate Christ's forgiveness and redemption. As I read and struggled through the parables of Jesus, I discovered more deeply than ever that He is protective, tender, healing, full of joy for us, and absolutely alive.

Peach Preserves

Preserve your fullness for me
Behind the reflective curvature of marmalade glass
Golden and colorful peaches are intended and grown
To ripen and ferment in the warming Spring
Near country air of the country sun
A grove of trees, delectable trees of green

They are not for the cellar, where the cold dampness
Molds and hides the glare, tempered and rounded
Stout and dusty shelves managing sweating, molten jars
Covering the reflective curvature of marmalade glass

I hold your balance and weight with care
Not to nick or smudge your crystallic ocular sides
Or deflect from you in any way.
The shoots of flax are behaving and unfolding upon your arrival
Opening and sorting and dividing the sharp husks and cracking hulls.
A remote level of land sits where I can place you in protective elements.

Tilled soil and seed are now home.
I bend with the breeze and yellowed tenderness, grass and budding
And set your complex and compact arcs
Upon a meadow’s fold of daisied earth

Behind the reflective curvature of marmalade glass
The counterclockwise measurement untwists and unseals
The indelible joy discovered in the jar of peaches.
These will soon be released into the countryside with a rural fervor.

Copyright ©2007 by Matt Rust