The women’s gifts to Him would not last long:
Just as His corpse itself must soon decay,
Embalming myrrh’s soft sweetness drifts away.
A tomb that’s carved in stone’s forever strong,
But nothing can sweet aloes’ life prolong.
What Joseph gave would stand beyond today:
This granite burial site was sure to stay–
Regardless of what time might bring along.

But at the sepulcher stunned women learned
The grave the Savior borrowed He returned;
The risen Christ would visit Galilee:
An upper room, a shore beside the sea.
What Joseph thought he gave he only lent;
The women’s incense still gives forth its scent.

Bryce Christensen

Bryce Christensen is professor of English at Southern Utah University, where he teaches literature--including non-Western literature in translation. He is currently teaching American literature at National Taiwan University in Taipei as a visiting Fulbright professor. He has published poetry in The Formalist, First Things, Modern Age, Chronicles, and elsewhere. His poetry has been anthologized in Sonnets (University of Evansville) and Grace Notes (Institute on Religion and Public Life). He is the author of the novel Winning (Whiskey Creek Press) and of ‘The Portals of Sheol’ and Other Poems (White Violet Press). He and his wife, Mary, are the parents of three children and the grandparents of seven grandchildren.

'Returned' have 6 comments

  1. May 22, 2020 @ 1:03 pm Ben Jefferies

    Long live the New Formalists! What an excellent and heart-catching poem. Those last two lines are ringing in my ears. I had not heard of Christensen before now, but his ear for meter as a means of presenting the story is positively Tennysonian! Thank you for this.


    • May 23, 2020 @ 10:43 pm Bryce Christensen

      Thank you for your gratifyingly kind words, Ben. I\’m glad that you like the poem.


  2. May 23, 2020 @ 11:50 am Cynthia Erlandson

    Very beautiful, Bryce!


  3. May 24, 2020 @ 9:23 am Laura

    What beauty is described by Bryce! Not just physical, but more important, emotional and spiritual.


    • May 25, 2020 @ 11:21 pm Bryce Christensen

      I am very pleased that you find emotional and spiritual beauty in my poem, Laura. Thank you.


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