Dusk thickens around my feet
– tapping, nervously,
as I await your return.

I squint out the kitchen window;
there is your silhouette,
breaching the horizon,
breaking through my worries.

But oh, my daughter,
the gleaning has not been kind to you;
I almost didn’t recognize
your hunched figure in the distance.

I light a candle and go out to meet you.

And yet, as the distance between us closes,
I see, and I smile.

It’s not weariness,
but the weight of grace
that causes you to stoop.

It’s not unwelcoming workers,
that cause your waddling gait.

Why, it’s the bundle of barley you carry on your back
– wider it seems, than you are.

Who took notice of you – a beggar
– that you should return home
with so much more than our daily bread?

One who still remembers
our days as slaves in Egypt.

Do you see the other gleaners returning home with excess?

Who looked upon you with favour – a stranger
– that you should dip your bread in wine today?

One who still remembers
the law of seven years.

Do you think it an accident that you should be
lavished with grain,
laden with grace?

Sheaves spill out from your bundle
as you run to greet me,
but you leave them where they fall.

You have returned home
– not with crumbs –
but with loaves multiplied.

I run to meet you on the road.

It does not take long
for hope to dissolve sorrows,
for despair to sink like lead in mighty waters.


St. Peter's Fireside