A gardener lies on his back in the late fall stubble
in his suburban garden.
He looks up and begs God for healing.
His hair’s dirt-full from lolling around out there
for so long. It’s been a day or two, you see,
since he first laid back and let the earth hold him.
So, how about it, God? he asks. Are you willing
to heal me? I’ve broken so many parts
I can’t do recovery any more. I’ve got cornstalk slivers
somehow in my back, somehow the dirt
in my hair is coming to life, somehow last night’s rain
didn’t do a thing to clean me or quench my thirst.
God, meanwhile, is listening with only half an ear
to this. There’s a giant gap in Creation
that needs filling and this is just wind whistling through.
When God speaks at last it’s only to say,
oh me. Oh my. Get up, beloved. You’re mistaken
if you see me in your details. I dwell elsewhere.
If you want to heal, forget about them. Get up and grab a shovel.
Look at the big picture. Pitch in and help re-weave the rip in the canvas.
Don’t blame me for the little cuts, the thirst, your wormy head;
just stand up and stop asking me to do all the work.
Spring after winter, fall after summer; that’s mine.
Tilling, planting, tending, harvest are yours. Get up.