Peacemakers' Prayer: Angel in the Dump


Any home gardener knows that an unseasonable warm snap in January will wreak havoc on perennials and spring bulbs. So, I put "Mulch the Beds" on my To Do list and drove to the dump, the best source of fresh mulch in our area. It's also, in mid January, a green-and-brown monument to the Christmas just past. I am not Catholic, nor was my grandmother, although she always insisted that she once saw the Virgin Mary appear at the foot of her bed. So, I must have a special spiritual eye for glimpses of ...

Well, here is a poem I wrote when I returned home after a remarkable, grace-filled moment in that vast dump site.

Like children,

Snowdrops, daffodils and crocuses

Need protection from

January warmth that betrays

A bitter cold to come.

Day after warm day, the sun seduces their

Green tendrils to grow taller.

A trip to the dump for mulch to blanket

These naïve thrivers reaps a surprise.

Christmas trees that recently displayed the

Joyous lights celebrating the Nativity

Now are piled like matchsticks awaiting the grinder.

They have no memory of the joy they pretended

Nor the innocence they invoked.

A bright color imbedded in crushed branches lured me to one tree.

Tucked amidst still-fragrant boughs-

Green paper cone scotch-taped for body,

Red rough-cut wings,

White circle for a face-

A handcrafted angel.

And deeper I peered, the crayon words:

Angle Mary protekt us from guns.

A child's prayer discarded with this tree.

Maybe by mistake?

Snagged in the branches as they went.

Now, an Angel in the Dump,

A plea for all the innocents

Whom we discard from our memories,

From our prayers

So quickly.

I replaced the boughs around her.

_Tucked her in.

Echoed the prayer:

Protekt us all from guns._