Psalm 1 – a poem by Cynthia R. Wallace

Psalm 1

“a tree replanted in Eden"


The ripping of
roots from 
soil, clods
clinging, stones
trembling, beetles
burying themselves
back in the earth's
fallen dirt.

The nakedness of limbs,
roots, dangling in the light,
in the open air,
in the elements. 
The rush of rainwater
against exposed bark,
tendrils damp and then
waterlogged in the
terrifying freedom. 

The shock of new-yet-
not-new place,
its almost-familiar
birdsong, its almost-
familiar soil. The 
strange freedom 
in the fresh-tilled spot,
for roots to sink down and
spread out and drink up.
The burgeoning urge to
send out new green shoots,
to bolster up the courage
to bud, to blossom, to await
the bees and sun and dew,
and to swell and flourish
into fruit.

Cynthia R. Wallace is Associate Professor of literature at St. Thomas More College, University of Saskatchewan, where she works at the intersections of gender, race, politics, ethics, and religion in contemporary women’s writing. She has published in Geez, Relief, Bearings Online, Radical Discipleship, the Ploughshares blog,and Sojourners, as well as scholarly journals. Her book Of Women Borne: A Literary Ethics of Sufferingwas published in 2016 by Columbia University Press. 

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