I know you laughed the day you first were told
that you would have a son who would
shine like a star above the desert.
I know you stepped into that story like a
dancer to a song. I know you leapt inside
to hear your husband tell it.
I know you did.
I know you did and I know why.
I know you’re waiting like that first year
and the next and the next and the next
with nothing more to hold than just a promise.
I know you hide ‘cause you’re embarrassed.
I know you cry because it hurts. I know you laugh
because you’re angry when you’re honest.
I know you do.
I know you do and I know why.
So you, here in this land between
the ocean and the verdant green,
you lie there like a barren stream
of dust, except for tears.
Your husband says the earth, it groans.
He feels it in his failing bones.
But this is not for you alone,
so Sarah, in a year
I know you’ll wake before the morning
in a haze of sleepy peace. I know you’ll
slip into that room beside the kitchen.
I know you’ll reach into that woven willow bed
beside the fire. I know you’ll laugh,
I know you’ll laugh and kiss his cheek
I know you will.
I know you will and I know why.
Russ Ramsey is the pastor of Christ Presbyterian Church Cool Springs in Nashville, Tennessee, where he lives with his wife and four children. He grew up in the fields of Indiana and studied at Taylor University and Covenant Theological Seminary (MDiv, ThM). Russ is the author of the Retelling the Story Series (IVP, 2018) and Struck: One Christian’s Reflections on Encountering Death (IVP, 2017).
David Ben Haim
I very much like your poem. It mystically conveys a few good ideas, of Abraham, Sarah and Isaac, with a hint of Mary, Joseph, and their special baby. Well done!
Thank you for the Rembrant as well….
Nicely done Russ!
This is beautiful, my friend. Keep writing (and posting) poems. It’s fun to see a new productivity flowering in you…
Very nice. A new depth of understanding to a character so often misunderstood. Yes she laughed, thank you for passing on to us your knowing why.
Spiritually, I feel very much like Sarah. I’ve been given promises about my future that I disbelieve, they seem so big. They gave me a fire in my heart, but I’ve laughed at them. I’ve felt spiritually barren more times than I care to count. I wonder if it’s possible for promises like these to come to fruition when I feel so empty.
But I chose to believe that someday, I will laugh in a different key, and I’ll know why.
Russ, I used to think poetry was stupid. But you’re helping to change my mind. Thanks for sharing this. Seriously.
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