The gardener chose the Soil and the Soil was good. The Soil could have done without, but saw their gentle way, How they tilled Her fertile body with their own calloused hands. In early Spring, they arrived with bulbs and seeds of all kinds And sweetness with which to plant them. The gardener dug Neatly lined pockets to fill with seed, singing as they sowed: Oh, my dear sweet Soil, how I wonder what we will grow. Soil swelled with new sprouts by day, turned bitter by nightfall. She feared the gardener would claim Her sproutings for their own. The gardener returned faithfully with water in tow, Massaging Soil’s scalp and plucking pests from newborn leaves, All the time singing: oh, how I wonder what we will grow. Soil had become weary of all the gardener’s “we’s.” They had not grown a single thing, merely tended to Her seeds. She cried to the dry sky for rainfall and the clouds did weep. On the final day the sower returned to the Soil, She had grown a mouth with which to speak and swallow them whole. By then, Her sproutings had grown up to the gardener’s knees. As the gardener began to sing, Soil folded them Into the earth, despite their muffled screams. She began to sing: Wind finds tree, acorn finds the ground, rain hits soil And we grow grow grow. Seed rain and soil – need no sower.
MJ is a Black, queer non-binary poet and parent. Their work is featured or forthcoming at Foglifter Press, Rigorous Mag, & Borderlands Texas Poetry Review. MJ has received fellowships from the Hurston/Wright Foundation, SF Writers Grotto, & VONA. They are currently the Community Engagement Graduate Fellow in the MFA program at Mills College.
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