for Shirley Ross, 1953-2020, one of the founders and long-time volunteers of the Green and Gold Community Garden
It takes a spacious heart to make room
It takes god-like vision to look at a soggy field
and see a garden fruitful enough
to nourish their dreams.
It takes a well-provisioned mind
to cultivate a successful union of hands,
of soil and seed, no matter the clay,
the rocks earth coughs up after months of freezing,
the barnyard grass, the sow thistle,
no matter the beetle, the worm,
It takes fearless shoulders to pick up
a shovel every spring and lead the troops
into the sweetest battle on earth.
It takes a gentle tongue.
Note about the Poem -- Green and Gold Community Garden is an unusual and heady community of women and men in Edmonton, Canada, which grows and sells produce to support Tubahumurize, in Kigali, Rwanda, a non-profit women’s organization which helps victims of violence and marginalization.
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Anna Mioduchowska’s poetry, poetry translations, stories, essays and book reviews have appeared in several anthologies and literary journals, and have aired on the radio. She has published two poetry collections: In-Between Season and Some Souls Do Well in Flowerpots. She lives and writes in Edmonton, Canada, and spends her free time working at the Green and Gold Community Garden.
The poems that follow are powerful evidence that Poetry Speaks Back to Hunger!