This is one of those poems that comes out of my unofficial position as family poet. We had an event at our house the other night, and my parents wanted a poem for it. I decided to write it in the style of a John Piper Advent poem. Like most of what I’ve been writing this Advent season, it focuses on the hope and longing for the Messiah.
His great-great-great grandchildren played outside,
Singing nonsense as they tossed the ball
From hand to hand. Grandpa Methuselah
Sat in the shade and watched them with a smile
Tinged by the thought of what was soon to fall.
He had grown old, without quite knowing. It
Was when his grandson had been born he’d felt
The weight of years that soon would sit
Upon him. “Rest,” Lamech had said, and held
A squalling child in hoary arms. That was before
They knew. Noah would not bring rest for them.
He looked up quickly as a man came toward
Him, head bowed but his shoulders straight. He came
Towards Methuselah and sighed as he
Sat down beside him in the shade.
They sat in silence, listening to the birds cry in the trees
Until Methuselah spoke. “How goes it?” “The same,”
Noah replied. “Not long now. Just two years.
Some of the creatures have already come.”
“I’m glad that Adam isn’t here,”
Methuselah said. “You knew him, Grandfather,” said Noah.
“What would he have said?” “He never spoke
Of Eden much. He waited for the seed until he died,
For one to crush the serpent, give the killing stroke
And bring us rest, just as He prophesied.
You know we thought that it was you.” He laughed.
“When you were born, we thought that it had come.
Your name means life, as mine means death. But after
The Lord spoke to you, we knew we still have long
To wait. Maybe redemption won’t appear
Without death and destruction first.”
“Maybe, Grandfather.” Noah rose to go.
“Or maybe death will overcome the curse,
And life requires that blood will flow.”