Friday, August 16, 2019

canticle 80

hear us, Tender God,
who gathers us
like a border collie!
you sit on a park bench
built from the songs of angels,
smiling as you watch us
swing high up into the sky, and
when we scrape our knees,
run to pick us up,
kissing our boo-boos!

run quickly, our Parent,
to sweep us up in your arms!

when we speak hollow words
to you instead of our hearts,
our soup is flavored with your tears,
and our bread tastes stale;
even our playmates know
how foolish we have been,
giggling behind our backs
with one another.

run quickly, our Parent,
to sweep us up in your arms!

you took a runner of strawberries
from your garden,
so it might take root
wherever your children live.
it slowly spreads over the lawns
and curls under the trees,
it sneaks towards the sides houses,
and creeps down to the ponds.
when we would make preserves
and keep the jars for ourselves,
you invite everyone to come
and fill their baskets for free,
letting little children get the juice
all over their faces and clothes.

take another look, Gardener of our hearts,
see how the runners might offer
food and joy to so many,
your gift becoming precious to others.
yes, we aren't good caretakers,
yes, we let the weeds creep in,
but you can teach us the right way
to care for all you have offered us,
taking us by the hand, so
slowly, carefully, we may become
master gardeners just like you!
then, we won't make the same mistakes
over and over, but share the bounty,
telling everyone who taught us
how to be good strawberry farmers!

run quickly, our Teacher,
to sweep us up in your arms!

(c) 2019 Thom M. Shuman

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