Mignonette

My father planted, every May,
    the same old mignonette.
He told me: That’s the only way
    you’re sure of what you’ll get.

You reap whatever crop you sow,
    so think, before you plant,
exactly what you want to grow,
    because a gardener can’t

pull out the seed in mid-July
    he sank in early June
or, looking at the evening sky,
    undo the afternoon.

Now that I’ve started gardening,
    I understand that all
the things I father in the spring
    I’ll gather in the fall.

I’ll make my bed and lie on it
    till autumn comes to plow
the garden under and commit
    the earth to earth. But now

I’ve seen the seeds my parents knew
    would gently germinate;
the dainty shoots my parents grew,
    sweet to anticipate;

the seedlings that my parents thinned,
    predictable as rain—
and I would rather sow the wind
    and reap a hurricane.

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

In this Feb. 13, 2013 file photo, Chris Cornell of Soundgarden performs during the band's concert at the Wiltern in Los Angeles (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)
So many of Cornell’s songs are filled with Christological and sacramental imagery.
Community, sacrament and Scripture: by means of these three mysteries Christ and his church would defy time.
Terrance KleinMay 24, 2017
Pope Francis poses with U.S. President Donald Trump and his wife, Melania, during a private audience at the Vatican May 24. (CNS photo/Paul Haring) See POPE-TRUMP-MEET May 24, 2017.
How are church leaders and Vatican watchers responding to the highly anticipated visit?
The EditorsMay 24, 2017
Photo via Starz
What type of god would force us to believe? Can we even be forced to believe?
Wyatt MasseyMay 24, 2017