This is an excerpt from A Visit to Civilization by Sandra McPherson.

Given & Received

When April’s
grape tendrils
tackle our small
St. Francis,

they knock him over
when they only
hope to use him
as a brace.

I find such undoing
hard to face.
Should I
see the tendril

for what it’s done
toying with
a holier, heavier

avatar and messing up?
All I did
was love,
there’s not a one of us

can’t say,
and a saint landed
on his back,
gazed up

in the guise
of wine’s leaves

and lay perfectly
unable to rise.
All I do is love,
the profuse fuss

of the garden swears.
Another year,
a snail climbed
that adamant goodness

to rest out
April storms
in tolerant
durable arms.