BY JULIE ENSZER
Could a whole new world begin with thirteen seeds?
If I hold them tightly in
my hand, if I hold these seeds in my fist,
if I pour water over my
fist, if I hold my fist with these seeds up to the sun,
if I hold my
fist with these thirteen seeds up to the sun and wait,
grow? Will a whole forest grow out of my hand?
Imagine first a field
with horseweed and crabgrass exploding from my palm,
volunteer: queen anne's lace, asters, goldenrod.
Can you see it?
Next, shrubs arrive: blackberries bushes, sumac, red cedar.
an entire forest growing from my hand. Saplings of sweetgum,
poplar, red maple, winged elm. Their roots extending
palm, my arm, my shoulder, my trunk, my entire body.
Yet, we are not
done. A mature pine forest grows with an understory of young
It will flourish for decades, dozens of feet above my
head. I can feel the shade,
smell the needles; their sap fills my
veins. Eventually so tall, so dense, it dies.
My body, my palm, my
pine trees overcome by a climax forest of oak and hickory,
shaded, mature. I will sleep at the base of their trunks. My work is
Imagine my field, my wildflowers, my pine forest, my climax
forest as I ask you urgently,
if I hold onto these seeds, these
thirteen seeds in the palm of my hand,
if I water them, if I hold
them up to the light,
if I keep them from becoming too cold or too
if I love these seeds, these thirteen seeds, will they
Will my body, my flesh nourish these thirteen seeds?
whole new world grow right from the palm of my