*Alternate* Second Reading: “Aequus” by Brian Doyle

A reflection from Brian Doyle.


I cannot explain adequately or articulately how much it matters to me

That the elderberry bush by the back porch came back to life this year.

Somehow I just didn’t think it would.  I know this is my problem, lack

Of faith, a kind of expectation that things will dissolve, a dry certainty

Of entropy, and believe me I have lectured myself about it, and ranted

And raved to everyone else, and published and performed on the topic,

I have been relentlessly and incredibly boring about hope and suchlike,

But there I am, in the halting stammering sunlight on equinox morning,

Hammered by savage green elderberry tongues all ravenous for the sun.

You couldn’t stop them if you tried.  You could chop down every spine,

Hack up the roots, roast it all to pale and shameful ash, and up it comes

Again desperate and thirsty and caring not at all who you think you are.

I cannot explain adequately or articulately how much this matters to me.

I didn’t think it would happen.  The times are dark.  Hope is in full flight.

Hope is a refugee always on the road with no shoes or milk for the baby.

You can’t trust that a love will keep sending up these mad green arrows

But there is the bush all defiant and careless on the morning of equinox.

Equinox, from the Latin aequus and nox, equal and night.  Isn’t that apt,

That whenever you think the dark has won the day leaps out rebellious?

The words of Brian Doyle.