Napo 22

It's Earth Day! Today's prompt was to write a georgic, or a poem about how to grow a plant that can perhaps be a bit political.
I tried doing that, but I think my poem morphed a bit into something more personal. The personal is political? Hmph. Whatever. Either way, I like this. More promise!

The Care and Keeping of Grapes

To grow a grape vine, you must
Have both patience and hunger
In equal measures. You must believe
There’s something sacred in the sweetness
Of the earth, the way the sun warms
The soil, the way drops sail down
From the clouds, clean and perfect.
You must believe this without proof,
The definition of faith.
It will outlive you, bearing your fruit
For generations to enjoy, the vines
Hardening to wood. A lifetime isn’t enough
To savor everything this grapevine has to offer.
Unless a bulldozer has its way,
Or the oceans swallows everything again,
Or the world explodes in an inferno.
You must consider this as you shovel soil,
Reshape the earth to make way for its coming.
If your faith is greater than your fear,
slip the seed into the waiting loam.

Watch it grow all season long.
Know that everything takes time,
more of course than you’ll ever have.
When the seedling pushes through,
Rejoice, give thanks, a trellis.

It will grow, inch by inch at first,
And you will clap your hands, bathe it
With gentle streams from your hose,
Pull the weeds that threaten to steal
The nourishment you give and give.
If you do this, the vine explodes,
in Fibonacci measures. Leaves reach towards sky,
Tendrils like a toddler’s fingers grasping for the cookies
On the kitchen counter. It will become unruly,
So much green and life in all directions.
You will want to let it be, let beauty
Have her way. But if you want to savor
The real fruits, you must unsheathe
Your shears and do the hardest thing of all.

Tell yourself this thump to the ground
Is nothing like death. Tell yourself it doesn’t hurt
While swallowing the pain inside your throat.

And if you do this right, as seasons pass,
You will catch the laughter of buds,
Fleeting and white. You’ll notice
Honey bees and butterflies stopping by,
Ladybugs and katydids. You’ll notice,
Tiny at first, clusters of green,
Orbs of life that promise the sweetness
Of forgiveness. They will swell up,
Dulcet-breathed and perfect
Until they sag, heavy, towards the earth.

Harvest joy where you can.
It only comes once a season
Before the sugar ants march in,
Devouring with a hunger much like ours.

Understand the leaves will fade to brown.
Understand life works this way,
That what falls to the earth feeds tomorrow.
It’s hard. I know.

Hold onto the victories you can.
Cup them in your hands and know
This grapevine will outlive you,
Continue giving sweetness to the world.
Your blood and sweat will flow
Through those vines forever.
Take this knowledge into yourself
Like a sip of wine at communion
And rejoice, knowing life goes on.
Perhaps this is what was meant

By resurrection.