Comfort My Age, O God

Inspired by Isaiah 40: 1-8

Comfort, O comfort my age, I cry to my God.
Speak tenderly to my years,
for I have served my term, my penalty is paid,
I have received from life double for all my sins.

My voice cries out:
“In the wilderness of age prepare the way of hope,
make straight in the desert time of life a highway for grace.
Every valley of despair shall be lifted up,
and every mountain and hill of discouragement be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
and the rough places a plain.
Then the glory of living long shall be revealed,
And we shall see it together,
for joy speaks still to us.”

God’s voice says, “Cry out!”
And I answer, “Do you want to hear my cry?”
All people are grass,
our lives are like the flowers of the field.
We wither, the flower of our youth fades,
when the breath of life blows upon it;
surely we are grass.
Yes, we wither, the flower of our youth fades;
but the joy of our faith can stand forever.

The Simple Truth

Four loads of laundry
Bleach with the load
Of bedsheets
Spot removal
On tea towels, napkins, washcloths
One load after another
Into my washer
With multiple settings
None of which I change

Three loads hung out on
Two clotheslines
Clothespin holder shaped like
A pioneer dress
I feel like a pioneer woman
As I lift the poles
To raise the well hung clothes lines
I feel strong and noble
Like I am personally saving
The plant

But one load goes in the dryer
As I pick herbs
To use in the Italian herb bread recipe
I found on the internet
And am bravely adapting
To stuff the bread
With our own cherry tomatoes
Sautéed in olive oil
That splattered across the electric stove
As I hung out the second laundry load

In the kitchen I killed a fly that persisted
In buzz bombing me
Until every smallest shred of Buddhist
Inclination vaporized
I thought of my Christian images
Of God
As I cleaned the kitchen
While my handmade bread rose
In my oven
With the setting for proofing bread

Some days
Even the simple life
Seems complicated
Much less my attempts
To commune with the divine

I wish I could wish
That I had not killed that fly
But I’m glad I did
And that’s the truth of it

His Earth

The earth itself is his natural element.

Perhaps some god graced his parents
With foreknowledge
To name him Elwood
Perhaps some imp tickled his friends’ fancy
To nickname him Woody
Because this son of a sharecropper
Grew up
Past his horticultural degree
To become a tree farmer

More hobbit than Ent
He understands dirt
And weather
And lifespans

His strength weathers like his trees
His smile blooms like his flowers
His love endures like his perennials
His steadiness nourishes like his vegetables
His generosity flows like his stream
Into the carefully built pond of his friendships

He rests in the sunshine
On the porch he built
As he rests in my heart
On the love he planted there
And tends so carefully
With his gardener’s sure hands
As though I were
His earth itself