By Elizabeth Hanson
First, she told him that winter had come.
That the ground was hard
And the soil cold.
That the seeds were stowed safely away
Somewhere deep, waiting
For the warm season to come.
Then, she told him the snow had melted.
That the orchard was a lake
And the earth too wet.
That they must wait for it to dry
Because seeds, well, they couldn’t swim!
They needed dirt, soft yet strong
Where roots might anchor,
Tangle and grow.
Next, she told him that a daffodil had bloomed.
That it stretched tall,
And yellow beneath the orchard’s branches.
That above, buds had formed,
Blanketing the bark
The way his quilt covered him.
If only he could hang on.
Last, she told him that his turn had come.
That he would sleep and then wake
With the heart that had grown
From the seeds they had saved.
That he might dream of the day
She had walked among the orchard rows
In the place where love grew on trees,
And hearts could be plucked
Like apples in the fall.
Elizabeth Hanson is a resident physician in the Emergency Medical Department at UAMS.