Today’s poem opens a week of poetry.



by Jennifer Dumbelton

It is June and I remember
the poet asking what tender means
to us. We answered: raw to the touch,
pulverized until soft. The night, melting,

feelings turned inside out, a baby’s cheek.
A picture of a bean sprout pushing through the dirt
to represent what I expected parenting to be.
Now in the garden the leaves of the pea

plants I brought home are growing.
This morning they were the size of clover;
already they are nasturtiums. Every morning
I walk out the kitchen door, bend down

and put my nose against the chicken wire
to see how the tendrils have tightened
their grip. Within hours they have grasped
something higher, moved closer to the sun.

Such thin strength, wrapped triple around
the metal. My fingers touch a precious leaf
like a heart. I planted these seeds
just for the pleasure of watching them grow.

Photo by Lucy Wolski on Unsplash