No Water and No Seeds


All night the wind shreds piled leaves ready for pickup. Ice pellets pepper the bedroom window, breaking dreams into high pitched shards. Then a milky dawn, softer. And the first snow fall. Sometimes the work we meant to do must rest. Did I ever mean to do any of it all?

In the surgical waiting room, my sister called. It was hard to speak about how he was doing or what the nurses said or the briskness of the surgeon. How the sun and moon dance around my children! Without one of them, everything would be in fact unlivable.

I love hospitals. Everyone has a role vital to healing and well-being. When we are most vulnerable, even the simplest kindness is seen as a great miracle. The drama of emergency and the unknown outcome of trying this or that to save a life calls a person to immediate and unflinching attention.

K. goes for Starbucks and I scroll through poetry wrapped bite-sized brevity. The authors couldn't have known how they held a trembly mother that day. We sit side by side in plastic covered chairs waiting to know – too nervous to hold hands or talk about anything more significant than the predictions for a snowy winter.

The creek in the backyard is broken again. Water slips away under a sad song dead of leaves. The birds don't visit now because there is no water and no seeds. One can only ask for repair so many times. What I cannot fix myself has ramifications. That's the way dim eyes see it for now. Snow piles. The sun hides a bit longer.

I drive through my racist town, but the men hold the door open for me and carry my pizzas to the car when my arms are full of soda. Women fill shoeboxes with gifts at Christmas for the needy and children ride their bikes from church to church to do service projects and mission trips and overall do-goodery. Yet they pray to the orange god of capitalism, exchanging their soul for food on the table and Christmas gifts under a slaughtered tree. What is legal takes power away from those who cannot breathe. How does one walk through this terrible dream? I want to fall away. I want to fall. I want to. I want. I.

We've underestimated our enemy, friends. And overestimated our friends. Paul and his poverty points out my blackened knees: Lord, take it away from me!