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By Merrijane Rice

There’s a woman across the sea
I’ve never met—
not in this life.

I imagine she’s an early riser,
grateful for pale dawns
flush with peace.
She’d tsk my late hibernation,
laughing, Awake!
Arise from the dust!

Maybe she has children.
She’d nod and smile when I say
they flood home like a river,
dropping silt past the front door,
spilling downstairs.
She’d lean in close
as we compare hollows carved
by little ones grown
and gone away.

Like me,
she knows the art of waiting
till new faces reveal themselves
as desert or oasis,
wildfire or cool water.

We both wrestle,
wrap ourselves in hope,
cling to deep doctrine
against those who threaten
to rip out root and branch.

But sometimes the Spirit moves us
to faraway places
where promised safety lies
in strange lands.

So when my sister comes
from across the sea,
I will meet her searching—

cushion her feet with tender grass,
cover her head with untroubled shade,
ease her thirst with wellsprings
overflowing.

About Merrijane Rice

Merrijane Rice received a BA in English from Brigham Young University, and then served in the Washington D.C. North Mission. After returning, she married Jason Rice and together they are raising a family of four boys in Kaysville, Utah. She currently works for Deseret Mutual Benefit Administrators as a technical writer and editor. In her spare time, she likes to write, sing, arrange music, cook, read, and occasionally sew.

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