Explaining Easter to My Three-Year-Old

Imagine your marshmallow Peeps devoured by your brother
without one lick of sticky sweetness, the giant chocolate rabbit
melted in the sun. Even your mother and father –
those great false gods – have eaten every jelly bean,
taken away the pastel colored eggs. You hold your basket,
empty, save for some stringy plastic grass.

This is how Good Friday feels, like waiting
to be taken to the playground all day and then
it rains, like wanting to wear pink but all that’s clean
is gray. And then you are sent to time-out, told to sit still
for three minutes, which is almost more than you can bear.

This is more than you can bear, but be still,
consider how much you had hoped for that delicious
candy basket, how you had dreamed to wear
the most beautiful gown, to hold the bunny’s cotton paw,
to savor those puffy, yellow Peeps.

Now, my daughter, let us rejoice – time-out is finally over,
see the basket overflowing, Cadbury eggs, Reese’s pieces,
pastel M&Ms, more chocolate bunnies
and sugar-coated marshmallows than you could ever eat,
sweetness you can share with the whole starving world.

Published by Sarah M. Wells

Sarah M. Wells is the author of The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Gospels to Help Kids and Parents Love God and Love Others (2022), American Honey: A Field Guide to Resisting Temptation (2021), Between the Heron and the Moss (2020), The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Bible to Help Kids and Parents Engage and Love Scripture (2018), Pruning Burning Bushes (2012), and a chapbook of poems, Acquiesce, winner of the 2008 Starting Gate Award through Finishing Line Press (2009). Sarah's work has been honored with four Pushcart Prize nominations, and her essays have appeared in the notable essays list in the Best American Essays 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, and 2018. Sarah is the recipient of a 2018 Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council. She resides in Ashland, Ohio with her husband and three children.

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