by John Updike
I sometimes fear the younger generation
will be deprived of the pleasures of hoeing;
there is no knowing
how many souls have been formed by this
The dry earth like a great scab breaks,
revealing moist-dark loam —
the pea-root’s home,
a fertile wound perpetually healing.
How neatly the great weeds go under!
The blade chops the earth new.
Ignorant the wise boy who
has never rendered thus the world fecunder.
Yesterday morning, I hoed my other vegetable garden, the one loaned to me by my former neighbor. It was cool for the last day of June and the skies were overcast, so I barely broke a sweat.
I was reminded again that there is great satisfaction in hoeing down a row and then turning around to see the results. Weed-free, freshly chopped earth. It really is a simple exercise and one I recommend for any gardener.
As you can see from the picture of the garden above, the beans are coming along nicely since we got some rain. There are lots of flowers, which hopefully means lots of beans. The sweet corn will truly be just “knee high by the fourth of July”. I don’ t hold out great hope for an ear of corn from this garden, but I’m certainly going to let the corn grow and see what happens.
And every week to ten days, I’ll stop by and get out the old hoe that goes with this garden and watch “how neatly the green weeds go under”.
To see other posts with garden poetry today, go to Sweet Home and Garden Chicago where Carolyn Gail is hosting Garden Bloggers’ Muse Day.