There are plenty of places in our West Central neighborhood for Isaiah’s prophecy to take hold. Who are the captives? What devastations – “the devastations of many generations” – surround us? And what is our role in the transformation? I see it in efforts like Project HOPE and Riverfront Farms. After all, someone has to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. It might as well be us.
Advent Comes to the Dead End Street
The stairs lead nowhere: an empty lot, rubble
of a burned-down house left to rats and junkies.
This is the street the city paving crews forgot,
sidewalks strewn with rags and doll bones,
tattered remnants of indecipherable loss.
It’s the street where self-destruction
and survival look the same from the other side
of the river, neighborhood littered
with bad intentions, or no intention at all,
failed forgiveness, second chances squandered for want
of a bus pass, a wristwatch. It’s a neighborhood
waiting for someone to walk these barren spaces
and see sunflowers sprouting where the kids
shoot up. The scars of arson erased by zucchini’s
tenacious blooming. A garden rising from ashes.
And once it’s planted, there’s no keeping it down.