The prompt was to write a pastoral. I went for a quick walk in my horribly overgrown backyard. I got bit by a few desperate mosquitoes. I saw some hummingbirds battle over the last drops of nectar in the feeder. I destroyed a few spiderwebs with my forehead. Meh.
The weeds take over if you let them,
Drown out everything you’ve planted
Carefully, in a moment when your life
Was something less chaotic. No,
This isn’t the clean, neat garden
You’d planted, complete with herbs,
Chocolate mint, tarragon, and sage
Growing in their tiny garden boxes,
Gardenias, lavender, phlox, blooming
In their flower boxes, the fruit trees
trimmed to maximize efficiency.
No, it’s absolutely overgrown – the rain
Kept coming and you were too busy
To tend to it, to clip, mow, or weed,
And now the garden is beyond repair –
Overrun by whatever took root.
But somehow, beauty finds a way
to thrive, in the swooshing
Of overgrown blades of grass, in the dandelions
Feathery petals, in the vines
That reclaim the fence, spreading
And growing without the help
Of your hands. Somehow, the leaves
All fall where they need to. Somehow,
the earth waters its own with the same storms
that rattled you awake last night, feeds
the hungry mouths with what's left behind.
Somehow, when you loosen your grip
on the world, it doesn’t fall apart.
It keeps spinning, living,
breathing, blooming, thriving.