Late Winter: The Fig-Tree (Lent Poems 18)

This poem should probably belong earlier in the Lent sequence, but I hadn’t decided until recently where to place it. It best belongs, chronologically, between Jesus’ triumphal entry in Jerusalem and the Passover meal. Here it is now:

Late Winter: The Fig-Tree
The leaves were there.
They promised something –
Early fruit perhaps, the first sign
Of winter dying.
The Temple stood,
Before us, and behind us sang
The lingering, joyful echoes
Of crowds cheering.
The Lord approached
The fig-tree, hoping now
To find some sign, amidst the throng,
Of fruit appearing.
But though its leaves
Were full and lush, it
Bore no fruit. It was not the time
For figs growing.
Yet the Lord, angered,
Cursed the tree then
For all its false signs and overtures
Of fruit-bearing.
And into the Temple
He walked, whip in hand lest
He find there no signs either
Of fruit growing.

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