Siri Myhrom
3 min readFeb 14, 2022

An Ignatian meditation on the Cursed Fig Tree, 02.14.22

As they left Bethany the next day, he was hungry. Off in the distance he saw a fig tree in full leaf. He came up to it expecting to find something for breakfast, but found nothing but fig leaves. (It wasn’t yet the season for figs.) He addressed the tree: “No one is going to eat fruit from you again — ever!” And his disciples overheard him. (Mark 11: 12–14, MSG)

People forget: sometimes I was just bone-tired and grumble-hungry.
My belly got empty, too, nerves frayed,
too many nights against cold ground.
Prayer is a hard pillow when you know what’s coming.

That morning, I yelled at a tree —
it was aviv, no figs for weeks yet,
and I knew that — but in that moment,
my body wanted rest and breakfast
and just to be free to grow old.
Who punishes a living thing for not bearing fruit
when it is not the time for fruit? A fool, maybe.
Who sends a living thing to die
when it has only begun to ripen?
A tyrant, maybe.

They all heard me yell, saw me kick the trunk
and tear at the leaves,
shuffled about as my cheeks flared —
and what could I do then
but walk hungry into the temple
and fight the first thing I saw?

Later, back on the road to Bethany,
we passed the tree in the dark.
They didn’t see what I knew:
it was already dead.

Only in the obvious morning did they notice and ask.
This is why I said: our words have power.
We call things into and out of being.
We turn tables and seal fates.
This is why I talked, then and always,
about forgiveness, the very thing
that can make us most like God.
It’s why I meant: you’re all invited to the God-life,
but if you accept,
watch carefully what you say after the yes —
because it will be made real,
for life or death.

Siri Myhrom

Storyteller. Storylistener.