One place understood helps us understand all places better.

Eudora Welty


Saturday, January 2, 2021

The Cutting

Is this the first poem I wrote? I don't know. I think those first poems are lost or somewhere in a notebook and never made it into a computer file.

But this is an early poem. I remember the “cutting” (my dad was always planting flowers) being placed at the back of the kitchen sink under the window. It hadn't been put in a glass of water yet but there were spills already soaking it. This had to be in the house I lived in from the time I was ten. I would guess it was written during high school or soon after.

Many of these early poems came as fast as I could write them down. I think this was one.

It obviously invokes my belief in God which I had from early childhood even though our household was not particularly religious. But it was respectful of religion and I had a feeling of His presence several times growing up. There are other poems that attest to this feeling.

The Cutting

There was a flower cutting
over the sink
last morning
Drawing life
from careless spills.

From the wasted motions
of thoughtless strangers
As with a salve
its cut was healed.

I wonder if that
bud will blossom
or that fine mesh
of roots
will ever grow strong?

I wonder if ever
it will offer cuttings
to some gardener
of its own?

Someone’s left his fancy
forgot awhile
the rebirth
he was called to tend.

I’m ashamed to leave it
without offering a prayer
that the one
who gave it purpose
comes for it again.