V  P  R

Contemporary Poetry and Poetics




                    “The things of this earth will grow strangely dim . . .”

As I work the wet June earth I wonder what fruit
will grow from seeds with names like Green Zebra
and Golden Jubilee, why I dig holes and scrape soil
around the roots of seedlings when I can buy good tomatoes
in season at market.  All these years I’ve loved the flesh,
the scent rising from the earth between my thighs as I squat,
hands deep in soil, sweat beading on my husband’s back
as he spades, the teat of my son’s hair at his nape
as he stoops to retrieve pebbles.  All my life I have tried
to live as though the body is the soul, as though
planting and reaping were prayer. But what if the body
is merely the perishable fruit around the kernel
of the soul, the earth absorbing what’s left,
harboring only seeds of next year’s volunteers?


© by Ann Hostetler


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