Emmaus in the Park
“And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?” Luke 24:32
I often go to a parkette in back of my place.
It has a holding pond with geese
that paddle aimlessly on its placid surface
waiting for well-meaning people to throw them pieces
of bread. Brown blotches of algae (or is it feces?)
drift back and forth. As from a latrine,
a rank smell ascends from the brown-green
water. I walk along a wide gravel path hedging
it. Pieces of garbage litter the grass;
pop cans, paper, plastic bottles clutter the water’s edge.
People fish here for carp, blue gills and small bass
that still survive, even thrive to stir the passion
of those starving for a wildness gone sour.
Suddenly, a bush sprinkled with pink-purple flowers,
each having four heart-shaped petals, enters
my field of vision. Curious, I go closer to examine
the delicate white structures at the center.
It is the Hairy Willow Herb – Epilobium hirsutum.
Though an unwanted weed in a place overrun
with weed, I pluck one thinking of Him who long ago
appeared in a twinkling to his disciples on the Emmaus road.