“The angel said, ‘Why seek ye the living among the dead?’ And Mary, discerning how the angel worded his question to set her up for subservience, replied, ‘We are not seeking the living. We are honoring one of our dead. Are you saying he is alive again?’

The angel, a bit flummoxed, answered, ‘Uh, yeah. He was resurrected earlier this morning.’ And Mary said, ‘Okay, well maybe lead with that next time. We’re under the gun here. The Roman guards are changing shifts, and the day shift is kinda high on themselves. The high priests are probably already spreading conspiracy theories about this. And all our boys are locked in a room right now waiting for the worst of this to blow over. So…’

The angel said, ‘Okay, well I was just—’ But Mary cut in: ‘Understood. You’re just doing your herald angel thing. Thanks for the good news. But it means we’ve got a lot to do here. Lots of pieces to put in place before Pentecost. So, if you don’t mind…’ Mary made a shooing gesture and, having been rightly chastened, the angel went away. So it was, the apostle to the apostles began her ministry.’”

From the Gospel of Luke, chapter 24, Fellow’s Translation of the Holy Bible

An Easter Shape Poem

more costly
than War—war
more profitable than
peace—war, a bouquet
of roses; peace, a patch of
coral bells rooted in a cliff
crack’s dust—
war, an orgasm; peace, a care-
taker’s thankless toiling in wee
hours with soiled rags; war’s
promise? wants received;
peace’s promise?
softer pains

Mormon Flash Fiction for Eastertide

On another of Father’s worlds, where the things of Holy Week had also been done, Golgotha sat etched two-thirds of the way up a hill of solid rock. Directly below, where the steep and craggy slope transitioned into dirt and weeds, the holy sepulcher sat open—its stone rolled away.

Having looked over the tomb, empty except for some blood-caked garments, this world’s Peter hastily climbed up the hill. He ascended the steepest route around Golgotha, where dogs gnawed at the feet of thieves still hanging from crosses. Soon Peter neared the summit, free as it was from all organic and unsavory things. He clasped his hands and begged the mighty hill’s forgiveness, for his placing dirty feet upon its crowning band of marble.

Taking longer, the Mary of this world ascended the hill using a path carved by their ancestors. She carried their Savior’s shroud, fussing for a moment with an ill-placed crease in the fabric. When she reached Peter, she waited silently for him to finish praying.

Cold winds and gray clouds overcame the sunny warmth which had graced their inspection of the tomb. Somewhere a dove sang from tonic to subdominant—its melody rising a perfect fourth and then falling again. It repeated this cadence several times, always returning humbly to the tonic note. Too soon for Peter and Mary’s ears, the shrieking of hawks drowned out the dove’s cooing.

The young aspirant turned and met Mary’s gaze. His eyes shimmered with anxiety. The flesh on his cheekbones tensed upward with fear trending toward anger. Mary moved closer and knelt before Peter. Taking his hands and turning the palms up, she began wiping his rock-scraped wounds with the shroud.

Peter drew back from her. He asked, “Are you ready to lead?” Mary sighed, then took Peter’s bloodied hands and resumed washing them. She looked up into his eyes and replied, “Are you ready to follow?”

Poet’s Notes

I invite you to try another shape poem: We Ancients of Easter Eggs. Your reactions to this post are welcome in the comments section below. With Easter 2023 behind us, the next major day in the Christian calendar is Ascension Day, which comes in mid-May before Pentecost on May 28th. How do you plan to spend the time between now and then?