the mind of god

when the belt on the mower broke the other day
i cursed as though god was out to get me
— though god may have wanted me to invest in my health
give me some time walking behind the push mower
make me stretch my legs and work my lungs
give me a closer view of this little plot
feel its undulations beneath my boots —
i’ve never quite figured out the mind of god

frank and jean have been married 70 years
and now they find themselves living in a home
but in two separate buildings because of the virus
70 years together pales to a month apart

and why i can’t seem to be happy, i’ll never know
i sit here tonight and the crickets are chirping a symphony
the sky above like diamonds, the evening breeze a delight
as the year falls, the colors brighten before fading
and with each bite of apple, a satisfying crunch — i wipe my chin
but i still find it hard to sleep at night

i have a friend whose wife got the virus and it nearly took her
all while he’s sitting at home in a wheelchair preparing to die
but he still laughs and makes jokes about my baseball team

our pastor and his wife go to florida for the winter
while i preside on sundays in our little country church
because of the virus we don’t gather at the table like we always have
we eat and drink jesus out of little plastic communion sets
we don’t get to look in each other’s eyes there near the altar
and the cushions are turned up in the rows where we’re not allowed to sit
it won’t be long before i return — first of november —
and then it’s my job, i guess, to explain what god is trying to say

i’m on call for work tomorrow, but i’ll try to get the mower fixed
if it doesn’t rain, i’ll get the grass i left uncut the other day
it’ll be sunday, but i won’t be at church, not this week
perhaps it will be quiet and i won’t have to go out to work
i’ll watch a little football, phone the folks, eat an apple
listen to the crickets and try to fall asleep at a decent hour
god willing, of course…

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