After All Danger of Frost Is Past

Thinking of a fragile child

By Christopher L. King

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If we depend on summer flowers
To feed us and sustain us
We will always have to weep
To see the petals fall.
Because we need the leaves,
The fruit,
The heavy wood;
We need all seasons, after all.

And so we plant our seedlings in the dark
In warmth, within the walls
While sober frost surrounds the house,
While hungry winds still whisper
And the soil is hard

Then, when the planting moon
Sips up the final dregs of snow
We move the seedlings into light
While they are weak.

We want to see the living sprouts
Defy the winds
That took the last year’s harvest off,
Grow strong,
Before a sudden snap can freeze them back into the ground

But even when our care is kind
And water flows, and food is on the earth
Nature’s bandits wait
To clip the new shoots off
Before the sun is hot.

We’re forced to cry when beauty fails,
When tangled weeds increase,
And let the salts and waters fall
As we have always done,
To change the temper of the earth.

But too much grief is dangerous,
A poison in the fertile ground
Corrupting love and gardener, too

So let us give our love to those who live
Regardless of the bitter cold
Which always comes to fill the fields,
The silent harvesters who steal our crops
And force us into fast,
Then till and till again,
And plant the seeds,
And feel the buds increase,
Bear fruit
To pick and give up
Into other hands
So they may live,
So love can last,
After all danger of frost is past.

Image: (cc) Joanna Bourne/flickr

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