Mint and Judgment

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites.
You pay tithes of mint and dill and cummin,
and have neglected the weightier things of the law:
judgment and mercy and fidelity.”
Matthew 23: 23-24

The mint spills everywhere
Grows without restraint
Barely domesticated
It is the garden gazelle
Leaping and bounding though my puny plans

I forgot to plant dill this year
How could I forget dill
With its fairy fronds?
We planted cucumbers
We love salmon
And I have to buy dill

Cumin, I have never grown
Though I use garam masala, chili and curry
I read that cumin is of the parsley family
Needs long hot summers to flourish
And is an ancient herb of the Middle East

So I plan next year’s herb garden from a Bible verse
I will grow mint in pots
Plant dill and cumin in my garden

I am in more doubt
About judgment, mercy and fidelity

How should I judge?
Who offer mercy to?
To what need I be faithful?

I barely manage to grow herbs
Somewhat haphazardly
Letting mint run too wild
Forgetting dill
Ignorant of cumin

I feel totally inadequate to dole out
Judgment, mercy and fidelity

How about if we make a deal, God?
I will work on doing a better job of growing herbs
While you work on growing
Wise judgment, sweet mercy and rooted fidelity
In me

Deal?

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