By Eileen R. Kinch
“Forgiveness is the seed of peace,”
a woman in Indiana told me
after the Nickel Mines shooting,
clasping my hand in hers.
Her hands were warm and dry.
She had raised seven children.
Her eyes were bright.
She sat next to her husband,
who beamed at her like a newlywed.
They were ninety, both of them.
I stand now at an empty bed of earth
near the front steps, wondering
how to begin.
Forgiveness, a letting-go,
opening my hand
and dropping a seed
into the earth, perhaps every day.
Who knows what comes from
A crop of peace—ripe tomatoes,
juicy and splitting,
or ground cherries, small fruits
in paper lanterns?
The harvest is easy, though.
It’s the planting that’s hard.
Eileen R. Kinch graduated from the Ministry of Writing programme at Earlham School of Religion, Indiana. She is the author of the chapbook Gathering the Silence. She lives and writes in Lancaster
Planting Forgiveness appeared in the Christmas 2010 issue of The Hartford Catholic Worker newsletter.