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I begin today with the perfection of small radishes


each earthbound globe

an unseen adventurer

in the underland, welcoming

this spring’s raised bed –


moist soil friable, worms’ tender reach

delicate root threads grow stretch



We can’t be too careful with courage

with joy


to keep each small living creature

intact, naked, fearless, two heart-shaped leaves

a hint of red bulb, white net of rootlets

clustered in the cup of one hand, small plants


this tangle of seedlings, a slow exploration

of separation, thinned, moistened

returned to waiting soil

in the welcoming breath

of this only day


a promise of rain, misted brush cool

on my sleep-warmed cheeks, ferns quicken

push their tight curls out of earth



We can’t be too careful with what falters

with hope


My weary hands plunge into dirt,

fingertips cautiously probe, touch tendrils,

new shoots, what comes regardless

in Spring

in the mornings, soil, small plants

perfection. Everything returns.


Poems in Response to Peril, eds. Penn Kemp, Richard-Yves Sitoski, Pendas Productions/Laughing Raven Press, 2022

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