Framed Sunflowers

Standing at the kitchen sink
My hands buried in warm, soapy water
I busily wash dirty dishes
While my gaze lingers on the sunflowers
Framed by the window
The sunflowers that are not in the garden
But there, just so, almost in the middle of the grass
Five sunflower plants
Grown tall
Their showy heavy flowers
Bending low now
Preparing to return to earth
As summer gives way to fall.

Five absurdly placed sunflowers
Not planted
But grown tall from seeds in dog droppings
Gifts from our dogs
And from my usually practical husband
Who carefully mows around them
Because they are framed perfectly
By the kitchen window
As I busily wash dishes
Buried in soapy water.


Something Not Memory

Something not memory
drives me from my book,
eyes wandering from the words on the page,
to stare across the years
at stacks of construction paper,
colored slivers on a shelf,
flimsier than my hands expected,
easily folded, easily torn, easily ruined,
but stacked on a shelf
so yummy, so soothing,
in clean layers of colors:
browns, greens, reds, blues
but the blacks and yellows always looked harsh,
suitable only for Halloween.

Something not memory
drives me to the keyboard,
to type electronic words
on an electronic page,
electronic words of construction paper,
thinner but better than lined writing paper,
easily disturbed, easily scattered,
but still safe, still scrumptious
in something quiet, more than memory.

Paraphrase of 1 Cor 3:6-9

Whenever someone says, “I belong to the Catholic Church,” and another,
“I belong to the Lutheran Church,” are you not thinking as non-spiritual humans?

What is the Catholic Church, after all, and what is the Lutheran Church?
At most, they are ministers through whom you became believers,
just as the Lord assigned each one.
Churches may plant, denominations may water, but God causes the growth.
Therefore, neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything,
but only God, who causes the growth.
Churches that plant and denominations that water are one,
and each will receive wages in proportion to their labor.
For they may be God’s co-workers;
but we are God’s field, God’s building.