The Green Ripper

Piet says he’s been talking with the Green Ripper.
After a week of painkillers he found it amusing
To notice, that in his mind momentarily the diety
Known as the Grim Reaper had been renamed.

Too enchanted, I joined him in the joke; Yes,
What a great name, like the Green Earth ripping
Out weeds like a gardener, more space for more life.
The Green Ripper, yes, would that He/She be green.

Piet’s lifting himself up off the bed, slow and purposeful.
This is the man I’ve seen do that consistently, living life
Purposefully, patiently, spaciously. At 84, going on 50, he gets heaps
Done in a day: of building, of gardening, of study and activism.

I come home and hang the towels on the line after a shower.
Naked in the garden (no one about) I start pulling weeds.
It’s incredible, I think, to see how whole and hearty and
Just so beautiful the garden plants look! How alive!

Piet moves very slowly across to the kitchen to steam some kale.
He has pain now in his knee, hips, and lower back, and
The painkillers really aren’t helping a lot, he says. Slow
And purposeful: he’d be a good match for the Green Ripper.

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