Now You Dear Things Grow/Earth Day 2017

Now you dear things grow
said my mother after planting
holly hocks, bachelor buttons and anemone.
What funny names, thought Little Girl me.
Now you dear things write
said NaPoWriMo asking for a georgic,
a poem about agriculture or rural affairs.
Don’t know much about agriculture,
though I hear it’s called Monsanto now.
Rural for me is more suburban.
I think my husband is afraid if we own
some land I’ll morph into a reclusive
goatdogunicorncat lady
though I hear unicorns are owned by Starbucks now.
I can write about affairs, though.
Not those, get out of the bedroom
and into the dirt.
You know, that soil we supposedly all return to,
though I don’t see how, as many are encased
in cement in land that is becoming a
whole lot more scarce than death.

A Host of Golden Daffodils by Wordsworth
was recited so often by my mother
Little Girl me thought it was written exactly for
the hill full of daffodils just before the
bend that led to Mansfield State College,
which I read the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
is considering closing, because apparently
no one wants to go to college next to a hill
with a host of daffodils.

But the annual chant was
Now you dear things grow
by my mother
and grandmother
and great grandmother.
Or was it a command?
All three women, tempered dictators.
Now you dear things grow
probably was a firm decree.

My mother proclaimed
me hyper-sensitive and overly empathetic.
Inferior traits
that turned my voice of
Now you dear things grow
into a wish or hope
maybe a request, if I’m feeling bold.
There is a bias toward nurturing and
tending possibility.
To plant, to peer over the soil each morning
with ephemeral anticipation is mine.
Big Girl me says
Now you dear things grow.
It is more than a whisper.

Now you dear things grow.
Now more than ever.
Mercy and grace.
Restraint and forbearance.
Kinship and connectedness.
Now more than ever.
We can grow!
We can grow!
We can grow!



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