Nursing and Cursing

The new grass that passed beyond lush
in the heavy rains of late spring and early summer
now lies in matted wisps of brown—
thin, withered stems of ryegrass and bluegrass
curled and killed by too many weeks of heat.

I'm not sure how much watering it would have taken
but with the monthly bill bulging over two hundred dollars
I felt like I had to taper off a bit
and it proved to be at least a bit too much.

Much of what I sowed is splotched now
with growth of crabgrass and watergrass—
not at all the rich sheen of fine-bladed green I'd wanted.
And worked toward.

Perhaps with the passing of summer,
the coming of more moderate days and cooler nights,
I might find the will to till new seed into the soil.

I try to console myself
by thinking that even the wild, unwanted grass
is some shade of green
and its roots will help keep the soil in place
but there is no denying the disappointment.

It is deeply fused into the ways of the earth
that planting and sprouting are only the beginnings.
In the curse of thorn and thistle, sand burr and sticker,
it takes more than wish and whistle
to bring forth and keep the finer things growing.

It takes both toil and blessing,
hours and days of sweat and muscle 
and the sustained caressing of dirt and rain,
all driven by remembering that in due season
we will reap a harvest
if we do not give up.

H. Arnett

About Doc Arnett

Native of southwestern Kentucky currently living in Ark City, Kansas, with my wife of twenty-nine years, Randa. We have, between us, eight children and twenty-eight grandkids. We enjoy singing, worship, remodeling and travel.
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