snowdrops on ash wednesday – a poem by Jill Crainshaw

snowdrops on ash wednesday

she kissed my forehead at night
when the world was drowsy and
mrs. beasley and I were snuggled
safe down deep beneath cotton-cool
sheets and moon-yellow blanket
a lone snowdrop tickling my
furrowed bedtime brow
prophet of winter’s death
a mother’s tender-fierce
twilight touch marking me

her fingers that served our
sunday in remembrance bread
brushed my forehead
weightless as a feather
floating across my face
perhaps from a house
finch escaping the hiss of
a neighbor’s big yellow tomcat
to dust you shall return

kiss mrs beasley too i demanded
and she always did but not
without a fuss since mrs beasley
was a doll and not real at all except
her berry blush lipstick left
a puckered seal and
i was reassured since i
could never see my own
forehead but mrs beasleys
smudged face held my eyes
until night danced with stardust


Jill Crainshaw is a professor at Wake Forest University School of Divinity and a PCUSA minister.

1 Comment

  1. Cindy Bousquet Harris says:



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