Poetry Sunday: The Sleep of Seeds by Lucia Cherciu
I was busy in the garden all last week, mostly weeding and planting plants. And watering. We've had a very dry spring so far, not an auspicious start to the growing season. I have a small - very small - vegetable garden this year and I've been trying to encourage those plants to grow. And I've been adding some more perennials to the garden for flowers. They all need water and the weather has not been cooperative, so out with the watering can, hoses, and sprinklers. I haven't resorted to prayer as the gardener in this poem did but to each his own. Whatever works.
The Sleep of Seeds
by Lucia CherciuIt didn’t rain all summer.
Instead of water, my father used prayer
for his garden. Despite his friends’ laughter,
he planted spinach and lettuce,
countless rows of cucumbers
in beds lined up meticulously
ignoring old people’s warnings
about the drought.
Every afternoon, he pushed his hat back,
wiped off his sweat,
and looked up at the empty sky,
the sun scorching
the acacia trees shriveling in the heat.
In July, the ground looked like cement.
Like the ruins of a Roman thermal bath,
it kept the vestiges of a lost order,
traces of streams long gone.
He yelled at me to step back
from the impeccable architecture
of climbing green beans,
the trellis for tomatoes,
although there was nothing to be seen,
no seedlings, no tendrils,
not even weeds,
just parched, bare ground—
as if I were disturbing
the hidden sleep of seeds.