Poetry

Broken Branches

The yard is full of
broken branches,

a few large and many
slight,

blown off the trees
by winter winds.

I look at them and
think, "It is too much."

 

How will I gather
them all?

How will I carry
them away?

Once a year only

the city trucks will
take them,

Once a year only

in properly labeled
bags,

to the recycling
center.

 

Old sticks and
stones–

words remembered

gestures  inflicted–

we've done things to
each other.

 

They lie scattered
on

the lawns of life,

too many to carry by
ourselves,

too heavy to lift
alone.

 

We rake them into
piles,

sorting and tossing
as we go,

seeking to identify

what we can compost

and what is purely
waste.

5 thoughts on “Broken Branches”

  1. Another great ministry metaphor! Along the lines of “the soul is lost that’s saved alone”, rare is the person who couldn’t benefit from the Beloved Community of a good old-fashioned work party. (Say the word…I’ll see if I can set one up!)
    Also, though it doesn’t show up in poetry much, I’ve always thought of compost, and the processes involved in composting, as something with rich theological implications… and, though one is lowly and one gets bedecked with glittering angels, salvage and salvation are never very far apart.

  2. Wonderful. And on the entirely prosaic note…our city picks up yard waste every week, makes it into various types of compost, and sells it back to us. Win-win.
    We still have to haul it and chop it into the right sizes though.

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