One Morning I Watched…

One morning I watched

a brown-skinned man

take a white twenty gallon pail

from his landscaping truck,

fill it with water,

and haul it

fifty meters to a

newly planted shrub.


he built a berm of soil,

so that not a drop

would miss the mark—

the thirsty roots

of this tender life.


His gentle pouring

was paced

to the shrub’s capacity to drink,

slow and patient.

He stood with the emptied pail

and watched, monk-like,

the soaking of soil.


This was no job.

This was a practice,

a love affair,

blurring the line

between giver and receiver.


I imagined

our Earth community

receiving a love like his—

to see what is before our eyes,

and cherish what every being can become

by the nourishment of reverence

poured out upon the lives

that are ours to tend.


He was not finished.

He turned his unwavering attention

to two other fortunate shrubs.

(I thought I heard them

singing at his approach.)


Beads of sweat now mixing with water,

the greening ones

now trust

this daily labour of love,

this consistent attunement.

They’ve learned the pleasure of anticipating

with each approaching dawn,

the arrival of this salty love

and shamelessly nurse.


The good folk

of this gated community

walk past the Mexican every day,

not realizing that the gracious One

has sent them a guide

to lead them home

to an unprotected life

of devotion.











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