W. F. Lantry, “A Winter Sowing”

W. F. Lantry spent many years gardening in his native San Diego and in the South of France. Currently he lives in the frozen North of DC. He has two full-length collections: The Structure of Desire (Little Red Tree), winner of a 2013 Nautilus Award, and The Terraced Mountain (Little Red Tree). Honors include: The National Hackney Literary Award, Lindberg Foundation International Poetry for Peace Prize (Israel), CutBank Patricia Goedicke Prize, Crucible Editors’ Prize, Old Red Kimono Paris Lake Poetry Prize and Potomac Review Prize. He is the editor of Peacock Journal.

orange line

A Winter Sowing

Start counting backwards. Pick your average date
of last frost in the Spring. It’s April tenth
most years for us. Sometimes the early winds

may seem to warm us, but you cannot trust
even the farmer’s almanac these days.
It’s all a gamble: place your bets, begin.

We have a couple hundred solo cups.
A drill will make three holes in each one’s base.
Dampen the potting mix until it’s firm

within your hands. Remember, every seed
is passionate to grow, and you are here
to give it every chance. Dibble a space

just twice as deep as your new seed is wide.
and if your seeds seem smaller than the dust,
they may be sifted to the surface, held

only by surface tension till they break
with small white roots, breaking the fragile earth,
to swell and reinvent the universe.





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