There are more urgent things to do than dig Around thirteen astilbe plants. But I’ve Had all my sins forgiven. Pinks and reds Clarify in the sun. Bees whirligig As bodied angels might: they dart and dive At flower-spires, tending what earth soon sheds.
A plane flies over, low, jet engines screaming, Obliterating thoughts. (Planes are routine Here, near O’Hare.) Things are as they have been Once quiet’s back, but they’re more real-seeming. Things are as they have been, but now the bees Look less angelic, more like predators— Like weapons from some video game’s strange wars Controlled by players safe from enemies.
I push the pitchfork deep into hard ground, As if both feet and my full weight were needed And innocence could thereby be expressed. Things are as they have been. Real wars abound With players . . . Well, I’ll get the garden weeded, However far it is from sabbath rest.
This unlikely tomb this once plundered vault this meager poke of broken power this moldy hole in the foothills of Zion and of the soul this piddling down to fissure and fault this dry womb delivered us the earth angel Jes-us just like us only wanting out more than in yet staying there long enough to cup one last beatitude for those in ruin and touch the souls of hell’s angels on his way here.
Why does the moon seem so intent to cry, and yet it is your tears that give us dew? Why do the flags grasp silently at wind? Why does the sun refuse to let me stare, and yet it is your hand upon my face that burns? Why does my mother die without remembering my name, while she still sings in church? Why does the IV bag float like my prayer does in this emptiness? Where was it that I lost my way? Why do I see the cross in window panes, in two downed branches broken in the road, in shirts hung out to dry? Why does the mystery of faith sustain us when we keep on asking such questions? Why must we ask such questions?