Lent is a tree without blossom…


 Lent is a tree without blossom, without leaf,
barer than blackthorn in its winter sleep
all unadorned.  Unlike Christmas which decrees
the setting-up, the dressing-up of trees
Lent is a taking down, a stripping bare,
A starkness after all has been withdrawn
of surplus, and superfluous
leaving no hiding-place, only an emptiness
between black branches, a most precious space
before the leaf, before the time of flowers;
Lest we should see only the leaf, the flower,

Lest we should miss the stars.
Jean M Watt