(Thanks to Shaun for letting me borrow his word)  

In the midst of mowing Mother’s backyard
I spot the forgotten ravages        my father’s garden  

Just weeks since we recycled his ashes
Back to the earth he once tended  

A drinker      tonguethick and stumblelimbed
We avoided the slap      of his deep bottle  

My mother believed in vows
Stoically staying     until death did its part  

We thought she’d welcome the freedom
But even heartache      grows habit  

I shut off the mower       contemplate the chaos
His small plot      a host of weed-fuming spores                                                                                                                                    
This earthly sanctuary never judged my father
Soil offering its own          language of forgiveness  

Like his        my fingers seek comfort
In the rich loamy promise      the forecast of seed                                                                                                                                     Gardening the only common ground
He and I had in our tumultuous past  

I start at one corner      my bare hands
A busy ministry     a psalm of unraveling