For Sadako Peace Day, August 6th, 2018
La Casa de Maria Peace Garden


Water the seeds of happiness.
                –Vietnamese Zen Master Thich Nhat Han


She was a thin woman
and her peace was a thin peace.
Touch it, it turned to dust.

She awoke from nightmares of fire
to feel about on her nightstand
for peace, hold it in her hand,

invoke the refuges aloud.
She pinned a medallion
of Quan Yin next to her heart

and made a small garden
at the feet of Tepeyac,
carrying jars of water.

Hers was a shriveled peace.
She was not a gifted gardener
but invited with her droplets

More color, please,
a little blue for Mother
and the bees.

In her dedications, the garden
was for everyone, all sides
of the family and the neighbors,

with apologies to her ancestors
for breaking the chain of retribution
they had built their lives upon.

She allowed those walls to crumble,
moved La Virgen to the center
and went about her work

to preserve each tender petal,
every little bit of color:
a treaty in her heart.

Tangible, dearly held,
the roots of peace took hold:
Peace in the ground,

and peace in the ethers,
the scented, peace-giving breath
of geranium, rosemary,

mugwort, lemon balm.
Every day, through drought and war,
she drew down the heavens

and watered seeds of happiness
from a perpetual spring
that sang within her.