Monday, May 12, 2014

May Sarton: "An Observation"

True gardeners cannot bear a glove
Between the sure touch and the tender root,
Must let their hands grow knotted as they move
With a rough sensitivity about
Under the earth, between the rock and shoot,
Never to bruise or wound the hidden fruit.
And so I watched my mother's hands grow scarred,
She who could heal the wounded plant or friend
With the same vulnerable yet rigorous love;
I minded once to see her beauty gnarled,
But now her truth is given me to live,
As I learn for myself we must be hard
To move among the tender with an open hand,
And to stay sensitive up to the end
Pay with some toughness for a gentle world.

"An Observation" by May Sarton, from A Private Mythology. © W. W. Norton & Co., 1996.

Photography credit: Detail from "Farmer's Strong, Work Toughened Hands Planting in the Garden," by Ed Clark (originally black and white).

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