Posts Tagged ‘carrots’





It is deliberate work

thinning the carrots,

the fingers slowly traveling

the row. It is right

that it should be careful,

unweaving the slender

green stems, choosing

the sprouts that will stay,

tugging on the thin white threads

of roots that must go. It is right

that there is tenderness

in the hands as they do

what need be done,

though the work

is non-sentimental.

Where there are too many,

none will thrive.

There is room for this fact

in the gardener, though

it is easier, somehow,

to pretend that there

is no metaphor

worth noticing, just

the task at hand, giving

each carrot enough room

to grow. They’re just carrots.

It’s just a garden.


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Year of the Mouse

Almost half of the carrots

were nibbled before we pulled

them from the ground.

Oh the mice this year

have been happy mice

with plenty to eat in my garden.

I remember the Yinnuwok legend

about how the mice were once

blunt nosed and ugly,

but because Mouse so beautifully

mended the clothes of the maker of magic

he rewarded Mouse

with a sharp pointy nose

made for sniffing out food and

a soft silky coat so that Mouse

could more easily slip

into tiny holes

when his enemies come.

Today I am the enemy.

Even so, I marvel how quick

the mice are to find our stash

beneath the spigot for rinsing,

how sprightly they escape into invisible holes

in the ground when I chase them away.

I would not be able to bless them,

not today when frustration

is more weight than word.

Still, after processing, when my son suggests

that we take the waste ends of the carrots

out to the field as a gift to the mice,

I say yes. It is not out of love

for the mice, but love for my boy

and his big and growing heart.

They say no good deed goes

unpunished. They say that the magic maker

stroked Mouse’s hair with his fingers

and that was what made it shine.

They say do unto others as you …

I stroke my son’s hair,

still boyishly gold, before he walks

out the door with his small offering

and throws the ends into the field.

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