Well I know now the feel of dirt under the nails,
I know now the rhythm of furrowed ground under foot,
I have learned the sounds to listen for in the dusk,
the dawning and the noon.
I have held cornfields in the palm of my hand,
I have let the swaying wheat and rye run through my fingers,
I have learned when to be glad for sunlight and for sudden
thaw and for rain.
I know now what weariness is when the mind stops
and night is a dark blanket of peace and forgetting
and the morning breaks to the same ritual and the same
demands and the silence.
~Jane Tyson Clement from No One Can Stem the Tide
Soon to arrive, a wave of 15,000 young people
with such potential to grow,
their health needs entrusted to us
as if we tend them as gardeners:
most thriving and flourishing,
yet some already withering,
their roots thirsting.
As the winds of time bring
new thousands to our care,
blown in from places unknown,
I weary weep for those who may not bloom,
wondering if I will fail to water or care enough~
or is it me with thirst unceasing,
my roots drying from each new morning’s
same ritual and same demands unceasing,
as if I’ve forgotten how to be glad for this work,
being met with the silence
of my own gardeners.