Photo by Alice Walker

Spring Poem 

Copyright 2018 by Alice Walker

For daisy, zinnia, petunia, jasmine, rose, tenzin, rebecca, rachel, braxton, auden

The seed from last year’s garden

Has been scattered

By the wind.

When I return in Spring
Tiny green faces
Are everywhere.

Some have landed
As we might too
In dry
& rocky

But mother has returned
And she
Is the gardener;

She notices.

The stunted plants
Trying their best
Still are stuck
In rocky soil.

Or maybe more discouraging
From a young plant’s
Point of view
In treacherous sand.

Sand looks so solid
But is not
& winter packs it hard
Like earth
& it is earth
But a very fickle kind.
It slips
It slides
Water drains
Right through it.

But the gardener
Who knows
The mother to the plants
Has come home.

She sees.

With her old and dullish trowel
She sets about her work.
For days she has carefully
All the uncomfortables.

Now she moves.

The stunted zinnias
She can almost hear
Gasping for breath
She moves into pots
No matter that legend
Is: they dislike being moved.

The impatiens
Fainting in the heat
She transplants
To dappled shade.

The huge jasmine
That never blooms
She leaves alone
Except to shower it
With a hose
& Tell it that
Though perhaps it has forgot
She has not
Its function is to create
Heavenly scented flowers
That look like stars.

No more letting seeds struggle
Where they fall
As if there is
In neglect.

This is an Old
Or New Testament
We might decline.

Placing our belief
In the gardener
The mother of the plants
Who always returns
After the winter thaw:

Sees the condition
Of each one of her green children
And acts
To bring nurturance,
And radiance
To them all.