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A Mulch Pile Prayer

05.10.18 Posted in today's words by

Lee Woodman lives and writes in Washington, D.C. 

A Mulch Pile Prayer
By Lee Woodman

Our Father who art in the mulch pile,
Hallowed be thy Brussels sprouts.

I embroidered this on a placemat
I knew would make him chuckle.

Thy corn has come, thy will was done,
on earth as it was on the sunporch.

He hung it above his desk with delight,
proud of my inherited irreverence.
Third generation Unitarian,
staunch, puritanical, though wily in speech:

“Holey Cleist!” he’d squeal, “what
the hell is the Holey Ghost?”

Give us this day, our daily tomates,
and deliver us from Swiss chard.

He was proud of his fruits and roots,
sweet “bluebs” and rutabagas—
He’d plea with us to weed with him;
I’d skitter off after two hard tugs.

Although he could rototill no more,
he’d stoop with aching joints and pull,
Shaking loose rich mulch from carrots,
praising lush abundant squash.

Lead us not!

into his garden that neighbors
turned into pretty flowers.
I’m glad he never saw the field of
day lilies overtake his asparagus.                   

He confessed once before he died
he and Mom recited the Lord’s Prayer,
every night holding hands in bed,
tending the earth again under starry sky.                                                         

Beneath those beets and lettuce leaves,
he planted his brand of bountiful faith
I sent a joyful message skyward,
sailing right past pews of red zinnias:

For thine is the power and the most glorious green
thumb forever . . . Amen.

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