The Day before Yom Kippur
M.E. Silverman

                        with a line from Christina Rossetti

I plant a burning bush
to beacon and God you
           to me,

           to spread more of your leaves,
           and grow
           borders against the orange
barrels taking root
a few feet from my front door.

I pot a stronghold
of scraggly sweetshrub
           with faithful flowers

           like maroon spiders on their backside
           so I can believe.
           I trust
you are close
when a wasp darts by,

hovering here and there,
           and so, Lord,
           I write these simple acts
                                                as poems,
           as if
           these responsibilities
could mean more to me
than your love.

Among the earthworms, the beetles
and the calculating bees, I
           furrow alone

           and not in the cool shelter of shade
           because I do not know
           what I’m doing,
what I’ve done.
I believe flowers preach to us if we will hear,

where clovers cling,
crabgrass is rampant,
           and dandelions beautify

           with their small acts of grace
           through my Saint Augustine grass,
           as if this is the pasture
           of paradise
where everything grows free,

so nothing has to die
           for me.

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