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The Cleverness of Seeds
Pat Brisson


They tried to bury us;
they didn't know we were seeds.
                         --Mexican proverb

The way the maple seed twirls away
from its tree and finds
any available crack or crevice to slip itself into

and how the dandelion fluff is wished
by children out along the wind
to a new starting place

and how the burdock burr rides the fur or feather
or pant leg of its unwitting assistant
to get to where it wants to grow

and how cherry and apple and juniper
allow themselves to be eaten alive
and eventually dumped on new fertile ground

how some seeds, bold and defiant,
pop off right into the face
of anyone who tries to uproot their plant

and how some seeds float
down rivers to oceans
and are washed up on other shores

or others are rounded up and kept in deep dark holes
and sometimes even forgotten there
until one day they start to grow

lying in wait for the rain
leaning into sunshine or managing in shade

cultivated or wild
appreciated or despised

or in fields of their kind

they grow.

This poem first appeared in Parabola (Winter 2017-2018).
Used here with the author's permission.



Pat Brisson is a former elementary school teacher, school librarian, and reference librarian in a public library. She has been writing picture books and easy-to-read chapter books for almost thirty years and
has received the N. J. Governor's Volunteer Award in Human Services for her philanthropic work. Pat lives in Phillipsburg, New Jersey; learn more about her at



Post New Comment:
Lori Levy:
Love the language of this poem.
Posted 09/27/2018 12:17 PM
Posted 09/27/2018 08:35 AM
Gilbert Allen:
A nature poem that has something to say about human persistence, too.
Posted 09/27/2018 07:37 AM
Larry Schug:
Pat, you have found a way to say something I've been trying to say poetically for years. I can't tell you how much I like this poem. Thank you.
Posted 09/27/2018 07:35 AM

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