Man With Pitcher

By Elizabeth Cranford Garcia

Man With Pitcher

Luke 22:10-12


I think all days have been the same—

dry days of bread, of shuffling

to synagogue, and back to empty rooms.


Today, a moth

flitted around my ear, settled

on my shoulder: Make ready.


From nowhere, from the dusty air, a purpose

moves my feet to some new thing, to open doors

stuck tight with grit of all that I’ve shut out.


Light shimmers through the air, caught

on cobwebs, floating motes, as if these years, time

has gathered here to wait


for the opening of this door, to remind me:

I am only an old man with empty rooms.

A vision of it once—swept clean,


and lit with laughter, with the clink of cups,

of faces raised—who will fill these rooms?

Again it comes: Make ready.


This, the only thought I follow, hands first, feet

dragging behind, flagging down

the dust, waving my arms to God—


I’m still here! and Who will fill these rooms?

And on my knees, scrubbing stone

to bone—her bones


laid bare by now—to be that shroud,

forever threaded to her body! I cast myself

along the floor, cast water—pitcher


after pitcher—making ready

for I know not what, but all my joints

in motion, in a hope I had forgotten:


Lord, fill my rooms.


About Elizabeth Cranford Garcia

Elizabeth Cranford Garcia is the current Poetry Editor for Dialogue: a Journal of Mormon Thought, previous Poetry Editor for Segullah, and a contributor to Fire in the Pasture: 21st Century Mormon Poets. Her work has appeared in a variety of journals and anthologies, and her first chapbook, Stunt Double, was published in 2015 through Finishing Line Press. Her three small children compete with her writing for attention, and usually win.

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