log poetry...prose commentary


Sunday, March 30, 2008

Make-Up Easter

“I am the resurrection and the life.” The sentence rises immediately into my mind from the depths of dissipating sleep. Alone in the dark tomb of my walk-in closet made bedroom I realize I’ve been dreaming and weep.

A week ago I slept through Easter Sunday. None of its light broke into my heart’s thick walled room. I sat zombified in the pew. Everything sounded trite and cliché: approximations of dates and events.

I guess this morning is my make-up Easter. A week ago I slept. This morning, the absurd possibility of resurrection confronts me in the rising place between sleep and waking life.

My father’s exhumed corpse lay on his bed. How or why his body found its way from the earth into the house I grew up in escapes my memory. The end of the dream, however, remains lucid as waking life.

His salt and pepper hair had grown to nearly cover his eyes. I read once that hair and fingernails continue to grow for some time after death.

I thought we should check his pulse. To our surprise, his heart beat faintly. I reminded the family not to get too excited. Dad had been in the ground for months. If he was revived, he would probably be an unresponsive vegetable.

I left the room.

When I returned, my dad was sitting up in a slouch. His eyes were open but dark and confused. Head down, he stared blankly through his eyebrows. His jaw hung limply. His bottom lip protruded dumbly.

Slowly he turned his head. Slowly he raised the red-digited alarm clock from the nightstand and stared at it confused. He flipped open someone’s cell-phone and scrunched his forehead at the date.

“Dad, its March. You’ve been dead for nearly five months.”

The next thing I remember, he stood embracing me. I knew he would be just fine. I awoke smiling and Immediately began to weep.

Waking always turns dreams into nightmares. The most blissful dreams yield the most horrific nightmares. It is a rule as certain as science.

For a moment, I experienced the shocking elation of resurrection-the redemption of that which was lost. I didn’t fully appreciate my dad until he was gone. So, his returned promised the opportunity to enjoy his presence more than ever before.

Of course, I was torn away from him as I ascended into the waking world above. The tangibility of his embrace dissolved with each waking second. This is why I wept.

Jesus also wept. Then, just before calling their brother out of the tomb, he told Lazarus’ sisters “I am the resurrection and the life.”

This is my make-up Easter because today I rode the resurrection roller coaster of emotion. I empathized with Mary and Martha. I felt the pain of the synagogue official and his wife when they lost their daughter. I felt their joy when Jesus said “Little girl get up!” and she did. I identified with the ups and downs of Christ’s disciples as they saw him crucified then resurrected. In my waking this morning, I shared the bewilderment they must have felt when, upon returning from his absence, Jesus ascended out of their presence once again.

I am thankful for the tears and hopeful that the legend of resurrection is true- For Jesus, for my dad, and for me. I want to see all that I’ve loved and lost restored to me. I know they can only be fully enjoyed after a season of absence.


  • At 3/30/2008 4:21 PM, Anonymous Aaron said…

    Great words Matt Graham.
    I'm glad you had an Easter celebration even if it was a week late.
    I'm glad that the Lord still speaks with dreams
    And I'm glad you have a new post on your blog.

  • At 3/30/2008 7:11 PM, Anonymous D.O. said…

    I too was happy to see an updated blog here at log poetry... prose commentary. I love you and I'm hoping to make an Austin visit upon returning to TX, and you will be a part of that.

    thnqqur (n)- thnick-euer -- One who never says anything without first thinking through it thoroughly.

  • At 4/11/2008 6:00 PM, Anonymous erinhazel said…

    thank you

    love you

  • At 4/17/2008 4:34 PM, Anonymous Miranda said…

    I and really liking your developing voice and use of imagery.



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