Monday, June 30, 2008

Earthy Smell, for My Children

You have to watch the pansies. Give them
too much water, and they will rebel.
Lovely young faces turn puckered and old;
green stems turn yellow and uproot at a touch.
How much is too much? A sudden torrential
rain, of course, is disaster, and
even the well-meaning extra squirt of hose
by a friendly caretaker bloats the bowl
in which incredible beauty soon will fade.
So I take the pansies into my hall
before a rain, along with the delicate pinks
that have, to my knowledge, no name. They
stay overnight, sometimes, and then the
vestibule takes on the earthy smell
of out-of-doors, a smell that can be easily
confused with mildew and mold. Actually
it is the sign of salvation in progress,
for the next day the pots will be returned
to their spots in the sun.... It is always
easy to find analogy: our beau-
tiful faces that wrinkle with pride,
which we just cannot relinquish in the
light of day. So we take ourselves inside,
sleep perhaps a little too much and allow
our minds to return us to the people we are.

Love heals: the piercing of hearts that taints
the sunlight and turns it into dotted yolk
is the stuff of slime. So now it is time
to move back outside and learn to weather
with mercy and grace and lack of shame
what next time will be just a bit of rain.

ellen moser

1 comment:

Jeff'y said...

You are a gifted poet and gardener of all living things. Much love.