Germination, Buried Life

The seasonal theme for February is "germination". This poem, by James Longenbach, addresses that while still capturing the darkness and potency being called forth in these last few weeks.

May it give you a moment—a rejuvenating, germinating pause—before turning back to the front lines.

— Amy

Buried Life
by James Longenbach

Imagine cities you’ve
Inhabited, streets
Paved in lava stone.
You never intended to pray

In the temples, had
Nothing to sell.
Now imagine yourself

Returning to those same cities.
Hunt for people you knew,
Knock on their doors.
Ask yourself

Where are the vases, animals
Etched in gold?
Where are the wines

From distant places,
Banquets ferreted
From the bowels of the earth?
While you were missing

Other people wore
Your garments,
Slept in your bed.

How frightening
The man who said
In his affliction

Wood has hope.
Cut down
It will flourish.

If the root grows old
And the trunk withers
In dust, at the scent of water
It will germinate.

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