Russell Libby Poem

Winter 2009-2010

“If you’re going to farm a piece of land,
you ought to farm it for all it’s worth.”
– Tim Hassinger, vice-president, Dow AgriSciences

For how many bluebirds it’s worth?
For how many monarchs?
What price the elusive fireflies?

I pulled the early peas today,
tossing the vines in the compost bin,
then carried the sack of Tartary Buckwheat from the barn,
seed grown by Liz and Chris on their farm,
and sowed it in the same way
farmers have sowed since the beginning,
palm up,
fingers pointing in the direction the seeds are thrown.

And what is that worth?
To hear the seeds meeting the ground,
to look up and see the clouds
that will bring rain tonight or tomorrow,
and know next week the ground will be covered
with pale green, triangle-shaped leaves,
six weeks before the white flowers will carry bees.

– Russell Libby

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