“Agricola: A Song for Planting” by James Matthew Wilson

Here today for National Poetry Month is a poem about planting and hoping for the best by James Matthew Wilson.

Agricola: A Song for Planting

My arms have labored such small cares
And failed them. So little as one seed,
To sow, or toss among the tares
To shrivel for thirst, or try to feed

What’s buried in the drying ground.
I scythe the grain when Autumn comes.
But now, the earth is cold; the browned
And fallen husks of last year crumble

Beneath each step I take. This year
Promises drought, the thirsting stalks
To be as these cut white stalks are,
The living follow the dead’s walk.

What lie did I tell myself when
I cast my efforts to sustain
Each growth? Each year forgives my sin,
But remnants of each loss remain.

from The Violent and the Fallen (Finishing Line Press)

About Richard Long

I'm a Professor of English at Saint Louis Community College--Meramec, where I teach composition, creative writing, environmental literature, and poetry. I also edit 2River, home of the 2River View, the 2River Chapbook Series, and Muddy Bank. You can also follow me on my bicycle as I tour the country, self supported, at richardtreks.blogspot.com.
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