A Garden Poem

Every time I enter the garden, I carry the stirrup hoe with me and gently coax the weeds out. So last night, when I came upon this poem by John Updike, I smiled to know that the satisfaction I feel, other gardeners feel too.


I sometimes fear the younger generation will be deprived
of the pleasures of hoeing;
there is no knowing
how many souls have been formed by this simple exercise.

The dry earth like a great scab breaks, revealing
moist-dark loam-
the pea-root’s home,
a fertile wound perpetually healing.

How neatly the green weeds go under!
The blade chops the earth new.
Ignorant the wise boy who
has never performed this simple, stupid, and useful wonder.

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