Blessed are the Poor in Spirit

Blessed are the Poor in Spirit*

A thin layer of frost
covers January leaves—
the ones swept into piles
months ago and left on
either side of the path

I pick up a single leaf and bring it
close, zooming in on the
detail. I’m amazed by the tiny crystals
formed so intricately overnight.

Was it a delicate process like
sugar falling on a pastry or did
the frost appear suddenly, cracking
like the frozen edges of the river?

Perhaps we are like these leaves
and this is one way we
encounter God’s glory.
Fragile, bare, forgotten

until one morning when the frost
appears
and what was meant to kill us off for good
highlights our veins and edges.

Blessed are the poor in spirit
the ones who have fallen off display,
the ones who feel discarded.
For theirs,
in dependency
in beauty
in surrender,

is the Kingdom

——
*This is the first poem in a series based on the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-10)

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