lenten journal: opposition



“If war has an opposite, gardens might sometimes be it . . .”
–Rebecca Solnit, Orwell’s Roses

I used to have a poster that said
“peace, like war, is waged”
and it made sense then
but now I don’t want to be a
part of anything like war

so when solnit says gardens
are sometimes the opposite
of war I want to plant but
is it enough to say, “I see your
war and I’ll raise a tomato”

our ground is too cold for
seedlings but the garlic
we planted last november
has begun to peek through
the layers of dead leaves

one variety is a red garlic
with roots that run to lands
not far from the fighting
a taste of together in the
middle of all that is broken

what the garden knows
that war does not believe
is that we are all connected
it matters to pray and plant
even if I am far away from

those who are huddled
in basements or hoping to
be transplanted to safety
I don’t know how it matters
but I want to trust the flowers

a garden will not stop a war
that’s not what opposites do
they paint a different picture
a hope that grows and feeds
midst the shrapnel in the soil



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