gardening · poetry

Under the Surface

What don’t we see under the surface?
Beneath the top soil, exposed to the elements, deceptively crumbly and transient,
Teems, I suspect, a world devoid of light but replete with life: a miracle.
Brand-new roots hungry, relentless in their singular purpose: growth.
Plunging down, groping outward with tendrils fragile yet vital
Seeking nourishment that we outsiders take for granted with brushed-off hands and distracted fallow seasons.
How many organisms, how much life within a square inch of dirt?
How deep do these roots reach, how hard do they work, how often do they rest, what do they fight?
How audacious of us to ask?
We can speculate about water, sunlight, pollutants, wandering paws and curious fingers,
But until the end, and sometimes not even then, that part — that anchoring expanse under the surface —
is their story, not ours.
We see the peeking promise, the proud plumage, the product of the effort.
That’s all.
It will have to be enough.

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