Thirst and Prayer
Bent forward as if at the hips,
The eucalyptus leaves press toward each other.
They huddle, tips touching in an awkward embrace.
They lean in,
To hide themselves from the heat
To hide themselves from the Sun.
Long hours have passed since those leaves drank the meager drops of morning dew that did little to satisfy their thirst.
The leaves conserve what little moisture they hold,
Turn in, and turn away from the day.
Raindrops too few to count have teased the Earth with only drips from the sky,
Withholding their treasure from my parched landscape.
Impatient with the grim prospect of no rain forecast for the day, I feel pangs of distress from the forlorn sight of the eucalyptus leaves.
I drag the heavy hose to the backyard and stand for long minutes,
Drenching the ground around and near the eucalyptus, soaking it to the drip line, sending moisture to the chapped lips of the feeder roots.
A skirt of a puddle forms around the tree when I cease watering.
Toward dusk, the tree’s leaves open and move away from the huddle,
Their arms are spread wide and reach toward the sky.
The leaves lift in a prayer of gratitude,
As if to say, “Thank you, thank you.
Thank you for the life-giving drink.”