Learning To Stay In One Place

I.

The storm tears ’round

And the wind bears down

On the rooted things.

What is rooted will cling

To the deep-set stratum.

What is new will bring

No strength from its planting.

The new will cower under stormy stratus

As rain beats into dying grasses.

Storm! Tear ’round!

Whip the morning-glory!

Near to the ground, the new will spoil.

Next Spring will find its roots in the soil.

 

II.

The frozen soil,

Turned up next Spring,

Will sing the song of rooted things.

A calm pervades as the cold blows over,

As the bees come ’round

For new-sprung clover.

What was new is newer still—

Verdant under April’s chill.

The sun, urging forth its warm,

Fondly fingers the freshly born.

 

III.

Summer finds the newly-set

Older some, stronger yet.

More certain now, it sends its roots

To cleave to granite:

Grow into it!

The roots obey; the roots go fast

To grasp at clay, rock, and grass.

All is set, deep-driven, firm.

When frost appears,

It is Austumn’s turn.

Autumn takes the earth in hand

‘Round to orange, red, and brown.

What was new, rootless once,

Is settled well for Winter’s crown.

 

[from the Watermark series, by Renee Walker]

 

 

 

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