Tuesday, 1 January 2019


by Eileen Howard

Plant your maize. Water it well.
Have some children.
Time will tell.
Nurture may yield a bumper crop
or pestilence may descend.
On the vagaries of nature
you always can depend.

Fling up the edge of your winnowing cloth.
Toss and the dross drifts away.
Pick up your pestle
Grind the grain, the kernel,
the fruit of your labors.
Then you can take
some bread to your neighbors.

Dance dance the sarabande.
Wave your winnowing scarves.
Let the wild color and movement
surround you, embrace you.
Your cares float away.
You are old, infirm, unsound.
Still, you can dance in your soul.

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