The Curse and the Blessing

The Curse

They hoe, backs curved up towards the sun, calloused hands gripping the tool, bent over the hard earth. Like question marks scattered over a barren landscape, their bodies warp to the demands of fruitless earth. Thin and tenacious, wiry muscles strain with each blow to the solid ground. The sun is merciless as it beats down, drying and blackening once gentle skin. Sweat taunts the hope of coolness and salts the eyes. The ground is cursed, the work is cursed. They labor for nothing, because it does not rain.

The Blessing

Clouds move in with glorious gray, lit behind by the benevolent sun. The horizon is calm and bright like the quiet eyes of a wondering child. The world grows dark and full of comfort – a hush falls over the land. Men stand with upturned eyes, praying for the merciful waters to fall. Women rush to bring in the peppers and clothes they laid out in the noonday heat. A pregnant pause, and then a low rumble. The miracle of life is bestowed as the heavens break open and it begins to rain.

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surprise upon finding grace

who knew that grace is so full of sorrow? or sorrow matured is another name for grace? like vines intertwined, sorrow and grace weave together, expressing themselves best in adorning the other.

distinct yet indivisible, who knew to what grace sorrow led?

what is beautiful is made so by scars; and who knew that grace is sorrow dancing?

burning words

body and mind shrunken
stretched and worn with her despair

she
tells me about solitude,
words pouring out of her like smoke
betraying an abandoned building
already collapsed.

filled with frustration and fear
helpless against this toxic air,
words igniting ashes
breathing life on betrayals
already burned.

I lift her despair, inhaling
and exhale it onto paper.