Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

“The First Sunday of Advent”

Kevin Brown is a professor at Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee. He is the author of one book of poetry, Exit Lines (Plain View Press, 2009), and two chapbooks: Abecedarium (Finishing Line Press, 2011) and Holy Days: Poems (winner of the 2011 Split Oak Press Chapbook Contest). He has also written a memoir, Another Way: Finding Faith, Then Finding It Again (Wipf and Stock, 2012), and a book of scholarship, They Love to Tell the Story: Five Contemporary Novelists Take on the Gospels (Kennesaw State University Press, 2012). He received his M.F.A from Murray State University.

The First Sunday of Advent

Not the moment before two
lovers’ lips touch
for the first time, or before the bat
meets the ball in the bottom
of the ninth, or before the opening
of the envelope containing
the unexpected a minute before
the mail was delivered,

not the moment where time stands
still, moves slowly, or speeds
up, but moves through time
as if the inevitable
were inevitably
denied, as if salvation were not
merely not possible,
but non-existent
just before it is,

but the moment before before,
the day before your first date
in a decade, where you meet
the woman you will wed,
or the waiting room
where the cancer that has carved
your lungs, your liver,
and your stomach is remiss,
leaves enough
for the life you will live.