while i was away the weeds decided to stage a coup
across the rocks   and plants   and trees
where i’d spent whole days meticulously
digging out the thistle      unwinding the bindweed
moving the rocks aside    to get at     each piece
of cheatgrass    conspiring with
the rain    the sun     and my apparent negligence
they made an     unruly revolution
like you   they have never been good
at boundaries    an abundance of green    brazenly
draped itself           over gray and white stones meant
to mark space    for breath and     steps
tiny tendrils stroked the sedum and
whole stalks of goatsbeard turned up
between the columbines    danger
can be so beautiful
as i knelt    in the wet grass     and cut my fingernails
into the dirt    pulling    on every last one
less meticulous this time     more furious    as if
it was not their nature   to go   into forbidden places
while the rain returned     and the
mosquitos swarmed   i remembered your face
when you saw   i wasn’t going to save you
this time    as if i was the one    who had betrayed     you
my hands grew raw    and numb     as night took hold
i worked to unbury the secrets     the roots      the radically selfish intentions
the memory of what it felt like    to be for a time     wild and    uncaught
the hope i know    they still harbor     to try again          i tried
to kill every last seed      so i could return safely
to only the good of my garden
to see unblemished the new blooms    of deep blue     on the salvia
the baby peaches     swaying in the gray sky    untouched
by the ground assault   my son’s fledgling oak tree    promising
a far-out future       by the eighth bucket filled     i had emptied    every corner of the invaders     my fingers ached         i surveyed the carnage
and cried     it all looked so battered    and bare    just three hours
after you confessed      what you had done    i led the memorial
where   the daughter    moaned perfectly   from the front   row
the whole service   from her gut
wailing  her grief   while i kept    my tears     in check
and whispered under my breath

About Rev. Gretchen Haley

Gretchen Haley is relentlessly curious about most things, especially the big stuff of theology, the beauty of creation, the magic of collaboration, and the great joy of pop culture (reflected in this blog by random posts on Beyonce, Taylor Swift, Scandal, Orphan Black, or the latest Marvel movie). She has an audacious ambition for the liberal church, believing in its capacity to transform lives and our world by way of hyper-local relationships and partnerships that inspire the unleashing of courageous love. She's all in on adrienne maree brown's emergent strategy, and finds solace in the trails in and around Fort Collins Colorado where she serves with the brilliant Rev. Sean Neil-Barron as one of the ministers of the Foothills Unitarian Church. She and her amazing partner of over 20 years, Carri, have 2 children, Gracie (14) and Josef (12) who both relish and resent being PKs, and who keep her grounded, frustrated, inspired, and humbled, everyday. She is basically obsessed with her puppy, a large sized mutt, Charlie.
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