Friday, September 18, 2015

Becky Sent Me This

This is the perfect expression of what I am thinking when I am outside working, but never had the words to say, and I know for a certainty that Becky has mornings like this in her garden too.


Believe This

BY RICHARD LEVINE
All morning, doing the hard, root-wrestling
work of turning a yard from the wild
to a gardener's will, I heard a bird singing
from a hidden, though not distant, perch;
a song of swift, syncopated syllables sounding
like, Can you believe this, believe this, believe?
Can you believe this, believe this, believe?
And all morning, I did believe. All morning,
between break-even bouts with the unwanted,
I wanted to see that bird, and looked up so
I might later recognize it in a guide, and know
and call its name, but even more, I wanted
to join its church. For all morning, and many
a time in my life, I have wondered who, beyond
this plot I work, has called the order of being,
that givers of food are deemed lesser
than are the receivers. All morning,
muscling my will against that of the wild,
to claim a place in the bounty of earth,
seed, root, sun and rain, I offered my labor
as a kind of grace, and gave thanks even
for the aching in my body, which reached
beyond this work and this gift of struggle.


Poem copyright © 2010 by Richard Levine, from his most recent book of poetry, That Country's Soul, Finishing Line Press, 2010, by permission of Richard Levine

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