BY JULIE ENSZER
Could a whole new world begin with thirteen seeds?
If I hold them tightly in my hand, if I hold these seeds in my fist,
if I pour water over my fist, if I hold my fist with these seeds up to the sun,
if I hold my fist with these thirteen seeds up to the sun and wait,
will they grow? Will a whole forest grow out of my hand?
Imagine first a field with horseweed and crabgrass exploding from my palm,
then wildflowers volunteer: queen anne's lace, asters, goldenrod.
Can you see it? Next, shrubs arrive: blackberries bushes, sumac, red cedar.
Imagine an entire forest growing from my hand. Saplings of sweetgum,
yellow poplar, red maple, winged elm. Their roots extending
through my palm, my arm, my shoulder, my trunk, my entire body.
Yet, we are not done. A mature pine forest grows with an understory of young hardwoods.
It will flourish for decades, dozens of feet above my head. I can feel the shade,
smell the needles; their sap fills my veins. Eventually so tall, so dense, it dies.
My body, my palm, my pine trees overcome by a climax forest of oak and hickory,
dark, shaded, mature. I will sleep at the base of their trunks. My work is done.
Imagine my field, my wildflowers, my pine forest, my climax forest as I ask you urgently,
if I hold onto these seeds, these thirteen seeds in the palm of my hand,
if I water them, if I hold them up to the light,
if I keep them from becoming too cold or too hot,
if I love these seeds, these thirteen seeds, will they grow?
Will my body, my flesh nourish these thirteen seeds?
Will a whole new world grow right from the palm of my hand?