A billowing cloud of dust rises out and up
from beneath the deck of the mower
as I push across the nearly bare space
below the elm trees.
A scraggly growth of weeds and grass:
not enough for green
but enough to be unseemly
when left un-mowed for three weeks.
I would like to sow seed
but it would sear in the summer heat
here in the heart of the Tornado Belt
where the sun could melt shingles.
The sowing will have to wait
for more gentle times
when what is tender can survive long enough
to grow the roots needed for thriving.
This is not the time of planting
but of tending to what could wilt
in this long dry season
when not every reason seems clear.
Too much attention to what is new
can cause us to lose what has grown for years—
and tears are not enough
to carry to carry a crop through the drought.
Even something strong as hope
needs feeding from time to time
and something as fickle as weather
favors the farmer who prays for wisdom
that is stronger than his own ambition.