Dec 17 – Esther

This week, I feature a poem written by my friend Denice.  Below is her intro explaining the way this writing captured her.

As a woman in this advent season, I know a different energy in my bones. I tuned to it to write this year’s Advent poem, gathering the holy tears and stories of women, myself included, as told at kitchen tables, in pocketed corners of cafes and living rooms. I held the weight of their emotional labour close as I considered Esther’s timely story. Just as Esther stood up to the abuse of power, that her and her people might know justice, so may others stand, speak up, know the waters of justice (Amos 5:24).

How do we contain a flood? We don’t.


 This is a tale, for once, that is not tall.
“Hear-hear” for that!
Millennia old, this one is gold.
A handmaid’s tale, (time and again)*
for such a time as hers, for ours.

Do tell.

Well, basically
Queen Esther “woke”.
Sometimes that switch gets flipped.
ON! Things get right in the light.

Go on?

To begin, a King, vulgar in his wealth,
desperate to impress, calls “his” queen
in for a little show and tell. For the men
in the room, he orders her undressed.
He wants to show them what he’s got.
(It’s right there in The Scroll!)

So That’s King “Aha”, as in
“Handmaiden, now I gotcha”.


Keen Queen Vashti enters, glowing gold
Queen Nope, Queen NoHow, NoWhere, No!
She lets that drop right in the court.
Is dropped.
May her story continue to be told.


King Aha would not be undersold.
(Empire gluts itself) “More gold!”
He showered himself in it, sold his soul.
Yup, King of the Beauty Pageant, with
his old tricks, privileged himself freely
with a favourite.


Lovely Esther, haram Esther,
Suddenly “WOKE” Queen of Persia Esther,
She knew how to “work with it, sister”,
Queen-ing up a little batch of lemonade,
And we know that recipe.
(you with me, girls?)

She takes:

a dose of grief, alternates it
with a collective, fasting
a dash ‘of the people’ here,
yes, (and whew!) a man of character
(a Christ-like guy, wise Mordecai).


Water breaks, right?
Like a flood.  Justice can
like it.
It did, and does. Thwarts genocides,
Saves “other”s lives. The recipe.
When the lights come on, that is.
When Queen Esther wakes, persists
in us for such a time as this.

Her call?

Liberation, please! (#metoo)
Let’s throw a justice party with this mess.
“If we’re gonna heal, let it be glorious”. **

© 2017 – Denice Bezoplenko – all rights reserved

*in reference to Margaret Atwood’s “Handmaid’s Tale”, book and series
** Beyonce

Photo credits:  Featured –;  Inset: Woman standing sculpture – Laurel Archer; Water –

Note: This Advent series is using The Jesse Tree, a liturgical ‘tool’ to help guide and direct spiritual reflection.  Each day leading up to Advent, we  consider one Bible story, or character, beginning from creation, following chronologically (more or less) right up until the birth of Jesus. It’s a way to review the wide sweep of God’s pursuit of humankind across history.

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