Thinking He Was the Gardener

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Thinking he was the gardener,
she did not recognize him,
eyes blurred with tears, the weight
of grief breaking her heart.

Now, all these centuries later, we find
her misidentification of him as gardener
happily apt. 
For he is the gardener
of our lives and our salvation—
planter, waterer, weeder, feeder,

He is the gardener
of all green and growing things, of
grasses, flowers, and trees. The great sequoias,
redwoods, and cedars of the world bow down to him
who bends to tend the almost invisible lettuce seeds
planted this morning in my garden.

He cares for all creatures, plants
the conies, those “feeble folk,”
in houses of stone to protect them, gives
water for the wild donkeys, delights
in the antics of leviathan.

Before time was, he cast stars
like seeds into the endless
furrows of space and still
charts their growth over seasons
that linger on for eons.

Dear, sad Mary, one word and she knew him,
yet all eternity may not be time enough
for her to comprehend him.

About the Author

David Schelhaas is a retired Dordt College English professor and a member of Covenant CRC, Sioux Center, Iowa. This poem is from his collection of poems titled Illuminated Manuscript, available from Dordt College Press.