Editor's note: As many prepare to spend Independence Day relaxing with family and friends, this week’s reflection is a poem about summertime from Curt Tilleraas, pastor of North Immanuel Lutheran Church, Pelican Rapids, Minn. Tilleraas says North Immanuel is “surrounded by cornfields and headstones, as it should be.” His poetry has been published in the LakeStreet Review, Milkweed Chronicle, Poetry Motel, Pemmican and other literary magazines.
In the shadow of Zion
Last night my yard was filled
with the flickering lights of fireflies
and the song of a thousand crickets.
Nearly every time I come home now,
there is a rabbit in the yard as well,
looking out from the sides of her head,
as if all that she is watching & hearing
is larger & hungrier than herself.
Here and there, along the way,
a couple of deer, or even a family
of these four-legged beauties,
have leaped across a quiet road,
where so many of their kind have died,
in search of a meal & a place to sleep – one more time.
And it would seem to the man who is sitting
on the nighttime steps, in the shadow of Zion*
that all of these creatures, through all of their movements,
through all of their songs, languages & habits,
are bearing witness to the presence of the Holy One –
the One who lived, and died, and lived again,
so that all the world, including them,
might live with Him in Paradise – now and forever, Amen.