I have been casting about for an Easter poem for an hour or so. Looking for just the right one for our newsletter this month. I ran across the poem below and at first, it didn’t seem related to Easter but after reading it a couple of times I began to think of the things we carry around with us: guilt, shame, grief, sadness, old memories of failure, ideas of ourselves as being less than what God made us to be. We think we live in the present and perhaps stretching or minds toward the future but often we carry with us the heaping weight of the past … the old, old past and it doesn’t serve us well. I thought of all that Jesus carried. The compassion he had, the love he felt, the mission he had to accomplish. It must have weighed so heavy on him. Then, of course, there is his cross. The cross he carried up the hill to his death.
Easter morning must have been light as a feather. Burdens transformed into promise. As we carry our burdens through Lent let us be prepared to lay them down. Easter is new life. No more carrying. Easter is light as a feather. Blessed are those who carry for they shall be lifted.
Those Who Carry
Those who carry pianos
to the tenth floor wardrobes and coffins
an old man with a bundle of wood limps beyond the horizon
a woman with a hump of nettles
a madwoman pushing a pram
full of vodka bottles
they will all be lifted
like a gull’s feather like a dry leaf
like an eggshell a scrap of newspaper
Blessed are those who carry
for they shall be lifted.
Anna Kamienska (1920–1986) Translated from the Polish by David Curzon, in David Curzon (ed.), The Gospels in Our Image; An Anthology of Twentieth-Century Poetry Based on Biblical Texts (New York: Harcourt, Brace, and Company), p. 80.