Planted in a Wound

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By Natalie Louie
Mar 17, 2022 | 1 min read
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A hummingbird sits on a tree branch as it eats fruit.

Sometimes I wish to be something other
than me, a fledgling that grows
steady as the sun when it rises up
in the morning from its quiet rest,
or a me comfortable in the skin of fruit
painted in a gold that can stay
but does not have to stay.
Cageless to speak the other
first language living where dragon fruit,
longans and oranges grow
in hands dreaming of rest,
where aching bodies sat up

at dawn to orange skies over rice fields. Up
on rolling hills where I stay
I have joined the rest
in gardens belonging to others
uprooting all that grows
leaving half-eaten fruit
for a few. But if I bear the fruit
my foremothers plated up
on tables from gardens they’d grow
before leaving somewhere hoping to stay
somewhere hoping some other
tables would let my body rest,

would I in Your quiet pastures find rest?
Let the low-hanging fruit,
striving, fall off branches tangled by others,
in an unraveling, stretch up
in exhale. In the vine my limbs stay
inflamed by pruning that grows
pain. The crocus grows
bursting into bloom after its rest
from prayers that stay
preserved in letters. Fresh fruit
of Your spirit sway with longans up
above faces free of being othered.

Planted in a wound, a garden grows
flowers in the sun before it rests.
Perhaps here I will stay.

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Natalie Louie

Natalie Louie (soon-to-be Natalie Louie Colby) is a second and third generation Chinese American who dabbles in writing among other things. She works in college campus ministry in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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