Patience and a Feeling


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There she sat in a column of sun
legs to one side, arm bracing
her upright, and she poured
water onto seedlings. The
glass-poured water-line caught the sunlight,
sparkling,
feigning it came from a distant spring.


You know how the sun can make things shine.
Like a halo you never saw before, now
Silver-lining her hair.
You'd think it was bright white at patches, instead
of brown all over. All but for one hair
(she says it's more) that's honest white.
Her worries have nothing to do with seeds.


Why she worries I wish I knew--her fears
were never my own. And knowing this
What a flop it would be
for me to pipe in with, "Look on the bright side,
It'll be all right."
No place for my courage in giving comfort.


Not from me, I mean;
If she were twenty years younger and in pajamas,
tears and snot lining her face
and a blurry-eyed young dad came in
to hold her with words of
"It'll be all right." Well, now he's right.


It's not just whom comfort comes from that counts,
but how we see them.
It's not enough that God is a father, for it to work;
We have to be a little kid.


She knew these things. Yes, she knew.
She came inside and her seedlings settled, brown
earth getting lower and darker with water.
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