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Posts Tagged ‘ideas’

Cotton

 

 

It’s easier, perhaps, to understand the acorn.

A shell. A cap. Something tender inside

with the potential to grow a great oak.

 

But cotton? Harder to understand the tiny seeds

wrapped in white gossamer strands—

tiny parachutes that slip through hands.

 

So few survive, but those that do

live a hundred years and grow faster

than any other American tree.

 

They’re like ideas—weightless. Able

to travel long distances. Mostly disposable,

but then once in a while,

 

one of the 25 million seeds

released by a tree will take root.

I’ve felt it happen inside me—

 

how it starts so small. How quickly

it grows, changes the landscape. How soon

you can’t imagine the world any other way.

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Why do we have to do this,

asks my daughter, hoe in hand,

and I, hoe in hand, reply

that it’s good for the soil

and helps it to breathe.

 

I think about how my own thoughts

crust over, how quickly

they become impenetrable.

 

And then hoe of loss. Hoe of hope.

Hoe of disbelief. Hoe of shock.

 

Again and again,

the world breaks me open,

allows the new to come in.

 

Again and again, I resist

the change. And then marvel

at how essential it is,

the new ideas so green,

so persistent, tender as

a girl asking why.

 

 

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