The Connection of Roots

by Rae Spencer

Through the grace of green grasses
And pale pear buds

In maroon furling roses
Flushed with promise
And too busy, yet, for splendor

With the impertinence of daisy seeds
That last year fell beside my steps
And have plotted all winter
To rear their beautiful heads
Among the azaleas

And with a great shout of thunder
So enters a new season

Teaching again
The imperative nature
And permanence
Of roots

To have true roots
The kind that nourish
Rather than simply anchor
One must learn to love the soil

To feel the deeper tides
Of continental drift
And gravity

Follow this tangled path
Into cold, damp earth
You will not need your heart
Such warm flesh
As worships the sun
Is joyous and beautiful
And as transient as orchids

In the darkness
Deep in layers of ages
And soil
Is absolute wisdom
And the unyielding honesty
Of stone

These subterranean oracles
Deliver their gift of permanence
Without the necessity of sun
Or the permission of time

In this way
Even tame roses
Remember they once were wild
Understand the advantage of thorns

And pure white pear buds
Know that grace
Is coincidence
A trait fully bound
To the fiber of roots

Rae Spencer is a writer and veterinarian living in Virginia. Her poetry has been published in The Driftwood Review, Melusine, Five Fishes Journal, vox poetica, Temenos, and elsewhere. She received a Pushcart Prize nomination in 2009.

Back to Issue Seven: Spring 2010