Barren Soil

According to the parable-which I accept– The Creator is the Divine Gardener. The Creator walks through the garden looking at the newest plants. When the Gardener sees a tiny sprout in a spot where the soil or light is poor, so it might not attain its full growth potential, He transplants it. He takes the sprout to a richer soil, a more sun-filled garden where it flourishes forever.

I never got it out of my head that I was poor soil. Some people even told me that. They might have meant that we are all poor soil but I took it personally. Never use a metaphor on a person with a percolating mind.

David was transplanted over 30 years ago and yet I still feel that I was poor soil. All the platitudes, all the stupid grins, all of that patter was grotesque but they were right. They convinced me. I was worthless. I didn’t deserve anything as beautiful as that innocent child in my life. That’s not my destiny. Poor soil. So I never recovered from grief.


your vision
tell us your vision

I remember sitting
by his hospital bed
as his temperature dropped
his throat rattled
and little body shook
in pain

tell us
how he comes back to you

he touches me gently
he does not feel pain any more
but I do

your vision
tell us your vision

I remember how
a door opened out of the air
in the hospital room where he died
‘Abdu’l-Bahá stepped through it
he only glanced at me
then he picked up
David’s body
cradled him gently
turned around
and closed the door

my son was transplanted to the garden
and I was left alone

there is no rescue
no transplanting for me
just the barren soil of this place


One comment

  1. Lucki · August 22, 2013

    To the poet: Those poeple who told you that you were poor soil? They were wrong. You aren’t poor soil. You aren’t soil at all. You’re one of the Gardener’s plants. He waits to transplant the studier plants, waits until they’ve grown as strong and beautiful and productive as they can in the original soil. They bring something to that richer, more sun-filled garden that the little-sprout transplants can’t.

    I had a neighbor many years ago who gave birth to twin boys, one of them with severe (eventually fatal) Down Syndrome. Many people in her church told her she must have been very sinful to be visited with such harsh punishment from God. What a crock! I and some other friends — and her own heart and soul — convinced her that she must have been very special for God to choose her when He was looking for a strong, loving mother for that very needy baby.

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