“For the time will come when you will say, ‘Blessed are the childless women,
the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’. . .
For if people do these things when the tree is green,
what will happen when it is dry?” —Luke 23:29–31 (NRSV)
We are the women of brown branches,
limbs left where babies bathed,
cement the sweat from Earth’s labor pains.
Lord, have mercy.
We are the women of sanctions and silos,
of rivers of refugees run down
like water; of red-light not night-lights,
Sweetie tied to her pole.
We’ve seen rifle rip twenty,
Adam’s sin spun curls cold.
They’ve made barely boys bear
bullets up canals that once bore them.
O dear God,
we beg stones to fall,
hills to turn tombs,
that we might (Lord, have mercy)
somehow rise whole with you.
Melissa Weaver lives in Harrisonburg, Virginia, where she manages to tend to a steady husband, a preschooler, toddler, and baby, an unruly backyard garden, and occasionally a poem or two. A former English and English Language Learner teacher, she seeks to be deeply rooted in her neighborhood, building relationships with kids and families who have come from all over the world. There’s a place for her at the Trinity’s table, and she is learning that’s enough. She and her family find fellowship at Harrisonburg Mennonite Church. Her work has appeared in The Christian Century, Mothers Always Write, The Anabaptist Journal of Australia and New Zealand, and Transforming, a publication of Virginia Mennonite Missions.