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Reflections

An offering in poetry for Lent

Lent is a tree without blossom, without leaf
Barer than blackthorn in its winter sleep,
All unadorned. Unlike Christmas which decrees
The setting-up, the dressing-up of trees,
Lent is a taking down, a stripping bare,
A starkness after all has been withdrawn
Of surplus and superfluous,
Leaving no hiding-place, only an emptiness
Between black branches, a most precious space
Before the leaf, before the time of flower,
Lest we should see only the leaf, the flower,
Lest we should miss the stars.