Day 13: Love Is…

Poem Day 13: Love Is…

Love is pulling on the padded rubber work gloves to start my chore on the damp, sunny farm.
Love is the mid-morning sun smiling above, with light clouds promising the possibility of rain.
Love is the birds singing from the trees all around, chirrup chirrup, tsing tsing!
Love is the hum of bees going about their daily busy-ness.
Love is the crunch of gravel under my white cowboy-booted feet.
Love is the smell of damp earth, and healthy goats, of pig slop, and recent rain that promises to return again, soon.
Love is greeting Patrick, my young goat friend, who often wanders around the farm friendless, after his overburdened mother rejected him.
Love is caressing his strawberry blond cheek and scratching behind his budding horns.
Love is gathering the bundle of spindly young bushes, ready to plant.
Love is the sudden whoosh! of water released from the spigot on the side of the goat barn, rushing over the tender roots of the bushes, ready to plant.
Love is the uneven hillside carrying water to the fragile creek from the ridge where the barn sits and the goats make their pasture.
Love is my white cowboy boots pinching my ankles, ever so slightly, and the small heel on the grip-less sole, making the hill every so slightly treacherous.
Love is carrying the bundle of spindly, young bushes to the side of the creek.
Love is the heft of the thick wooden handle of the heavy, narrow shovel I’ll use to make a new home for each tender-rooted spindly young bush.
Love is the wet mud and thick grass roots resisting the shovel, but then letting go and welcoming their new companion and neighbor, here to protect their land and waters from the waste of the goat families above.
Love is the warmth of the sun on my sweatshirt-swaddled back as I navigate the uneven wet ground along the creek at the bottom of the gentle hill.
Love is the bleat bleat! of baby goats, calling for their mothers.
Love is the lanky white pup (his name is Olie), who doubles in size every time I see him.
Love is his resignation and taking his place of guardian and friend of the goats, alone, while his father and mother and friends play all over the farm.
Love is Olie not begging to come out of the goat pen with me after I’ve said hello. He knows who he is now.
Love is the ruck-rucka-Roo! of the small black rooster with his bright red crest and cocky tail feather, walking along the fence line.
Love is the tepid coffee with cream I take a swig from when I need a break for my slowly wearying muscles.
Love is the grass bending but not breaking beneath my uncertain feet, as I tromp back and forth from hole to bush bundle, bush bundle to new hole that will be a young bush’s new home.
Love is being given a prayer with each planting, “Oh Allah, help them grow. May each be a source of protection and healing for this land, and may this land be a source of healing and protection for all. Amin.”
Love is being given a prayer and the moment to say it in.
Love is the slow exhaustion of my muscles and the heaviness of my breath, as the shovel gets heavier and heavier and the ground gets more treacherous under my cowboy-booted feet with pinched ankles.
Love is the gift of healthy body that allows me to plant bushes on my friend’s farm on a sunny and warm Saturday morning.
Love is Patrick, the baby billy goat, with his strawberry blond fur and no mother, keeping me company and trying to eat the leaves off the newly-planted bushes.
Love is me shooing him away from the bushes and caressing his cheek.
Love is Patrick, the baby billy goat with no mother, returning my caress with a nuzzle against my cheek and his head tucked under my chin.
I love you little billy goat.
We are Love.

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