Today's poem is by Linda Bierds
Gregor Mendel in the Garden
Black-robed on the green hillside,
he seems less shape than spaceAbbot Napp
a gap in a flock of April lambs.
Then wind opens his wide sleeves and the flock
scattershis little ones, his progeny, bred, crossbred.
In this first morning light, I am turning
the garden, kneeling and rising, my apron flapping
its own dark wing. Such a daybreak of drops
and ascensions!winter on the pebble, sunlight
on the nape, and the black soil swallowing
my pea seeds, like beads through a crow's gullet.
With grace and patience, the abbot
would cancel in his scattered lambs
the parasites, the strucks and toxin shards
that yearly fell them. But life's eluded him
and so he breeds for beauty: a triple crimp in wool,
a certain glint in lanolin. And the spiral horn
that curling cornucopiacorrugated, green-cast,
shaped, he says, by repetition's needs.
(Not unlike your pea pods, Gregor.)
Beautiful, he tells me, those circling, dusty pleats.
And if only he could breed there some brief
continuation. Another swirl, he says, another turn
on matter's slender axis. Another riseGregor
another dip. Before the ripping tip.
Copyright © 2005 Linda Bierds All rights reserved
from Kenyon Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission
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