CHILDREN PLAYING IN THE GARDEN
Working in the garden teaches patience.
A child playing piano does better in math.
Soft, furry animals are responsible for the disappearance
of lettuce leaves in the garden.
None of the purple mums from last fall came back.
You don't own nature.
It owns you.
You don't own the creatures who chop the carrot greens unseen.
Like you don't own a child
Can't make him play piano.
Anything that comes to you comes free.
It's easy to stand in the open doorway
Watching the pale tendrils of leaves
Moving out from last year's old wood
Watching empty flower pots
While listening to one small cheeww, cheeww, cheeww
In the maple tree
Smelling a modest rain from the night before.
Nobody knows what will walk or not walk
At the end of time on the forest floor
Wondering about the thunder or the sparrow
Or the daffodils that are always there.
Like the summer you spent on a farm
When you were nine
Hiding behind the hedge along the porch
While the mulberry tree near the barn dripped purple
The spooky, old, rusty car in the back lane
Seemed like a phenomenal mystery
And the crumbling stone wall along the property edge
Was a shelter
Dividing the world of children
From the adults
Who would never understand them.
Though the winter is long
They keep cozy warm
Waiting for the right time to bloom.