Rebel in dirt
I have combed my hair with the seed-combs of basil,
cleaned my nails with the brush of soil,
been midwife to bulbs, and built their villages,
mourned the miscarriages of never-birthing seeds.
This is not what is strange in me.
You know my honeysuckle curls, that would cling to anything,
and my willow-hands, brushing light where tenderness is better than pruning.
I read my soul, staring into the sun-blue sky overlaced by maple buds.
I find my own roots, tugging among wheat and tares,
and separate them from these things which would poison me.
Time in the garden—fields and flower-boxes—I spend hours in just minutes.
Then I look up and night has come without notifying afternoon.
The part of me that sleeps during winter is not dead or hiding.
It is unfolding unseen spires into new ground.
A room of her own? More revolutionary still—land.
Land to bring alive like a picture of a soul,
and back to burial, with faith that again new life will rise.
Do not ask me the dates of my transformations—the almanac is in riddles.
They are truth all the same.
Do not trust the fruit to be your friend,
I hear, and do not plant all your seeds in one pot.
Too much is as bad as too little—each plant has its own will.
Do not take me out of the garden—I am there, and I meet me.
Not pristine, not uniform, not made in the image of anything less than God.
Yes. A maker in my own land, which is now under my nailbeds
and up my life-breathing nostrils. I am.