I’m going to pay a visit tomorrow
to the henpecked garden
of a perpetually distressed lady
who flits about anxiously
as I coax her pretty posies
back into tight rows.I’ll put things right:
scuffles mussed by renegade squirrels,
errant sprigs that grew unscheduled,
leaves tossed from inconsiderate
trees into her beds
and evict those cheeky weeds.
I’ll return the scene to still life perfection
and remove all evidence of unsolicited life.
And once restored to neat and formal
she’ll heave with relief for one perfect moment
and then begin to fluster over how quickly it’ll all come unglued
and what a shame about that.
And I’ll be silly,
and grin up into the trees
sharing little jokes and laughing with myself,
~laugh a lot,
not at her…..but with joy.
Because I’m from her village
….I get that she feels deeply the need to be proper
and how frighteningly inappropriate untidy feels
and how heavy the burden of concern about appearances.
I understand her compulsion to troubleshoot
and the fatigue that sours the features
on her agitated face.
Because it’s a graceless village we’re from.
There is a mark you’ll need to hit in order to qualify
Only the deserving earn this; it takes measured control.
You can easily mess it up.
There is no safety apart from your hyper-vigilance
because nobody’s got your back.
And it’s a very heavy thing to be so full of care.
That was my village; this was my culture.
But I’ve followed living breezes past those borders
and slowly stepped out onto wide open fields of grace
where “be wise” is replaced by “be free”.
And I’m okay with messy
…edgy and flowy and imperfect,
a bit “off”,
the colors swooping outside the lines.
And now laughing and lightening up feels
against the heaviness and control
that strong-armed my own heart for years.
And so I grab hold of silliness like a bright red balloon
and lifted on whimsical winds
scatter carefree laughter like seeds and prayers
and hope they’ll push past disapproving eyes and shaming stares
to grow up strong and free
in this garden, too.