The garden rows are visible now,
the slender shoots of carrots,
the succulent leaves of calendula,
the curly beginnings of kale—
after many years these first green shapes
feel like old friends.
I greet them as I walk the rows,
tell them they are doing fine.
And then there are the gaps
between the sprouts, the places
where I can only guess about
why the seeds don’t grow.
A lack of water? Planted too deep?
A shadow? A dud of a seed? A slug?
Of course I take it personally
and wonder what else I should have done.
And then I pull out the extra seeds
and fill in the spots where there is no green.
There is no use in blaming. Just plant the seed
where nothing is growing. It’s so simple,
the task, so lacking in blame.
There are gardens in me begging
for me to do the same—to notice
where there is failure to thrive,
and to seed again, then bring water,
bring nourishment, wait.