Newly planted tree, water.
Douse your roots,
saturate the soil, stretch
beyond the root ball,
wriggle those anxious nerves
through burlap to new earth

and then deeper. Soak
so long the mulch rises up,
washes away, until you think
enough. No. This is not enough –
uncoil the hose, turn the faucet,
we will do this daily, weekly,

this whole season. Train
your roots to reach deep,
so when the droughts come,
you can drink from the depths.
When the winds come,
you will not be toppled.

Well, as you can tell, I didn’t make it through April poem-a-day but rather stammered out around April 22 and said, forget it. I’m done. I’ve said all I can say this month. It was a great showing, though, and I can’t wait to get to the new poems and do some serious revisioning.

I’ve had a busy few weeks with poetry readings that were lots of fun, good experience, and even profitable! I actually sold two books! Lyd turned three on Sunday, so we celebrated her birthday with many a princess-oriented gift and lots of friends and family. AND! I MULCHED. Oh, how I LOVE to mulch. I think it is a disease, but at least it is a productive one. I also planted knock-out roses, a clematis, and split and transplanted hostas and columbine (at least I think that’s the name of the flower). I am a happy little landscaper, let me tell you.

I think the rest from poetry for a time was healthy after such a binge on words and ideas. One thing I’ve discovered is that my best work is inspired – the Holy Spirit does his work on an event in my day or a memory of my past and out flows the beginnings of an idea. When I force poetry, like I had to do some of the days, it’s as if my tongue dries up and sticks to the roof of my mouth. The words come out fuzzy. It is no good. That is poetry work, not poetry inspired. However, the other thing I’ve found is that poetry inspired is much harder to come by when the instrument is out of tune, so all of the work of writing leads to the inspiration, in some way. It’s all a mystery, really. I’d like to summon inspiration whenever I please, but it just doesn’t happen. Even when I really want to write a poem, there just aren’t words sometimes.

There’s a certain buzz happening right now – I don’t know if it is because of the weather turning or the season I’m in, but I am generally excited for “the next big thing.” Bring it! Let’s go!

Published by Sarah M. Wells

Sarah M. Wells is the author of The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Gospels to Help Kids and Parents Love God and Love Others (2022), American Honey: A Field Guide to Resisting Temptation (2021), Between the Heron and the Moss (2020), The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Bible to Help Kids and Parents Engage and Love Scripture (2018), Pruning Burning Bushes (2012), and a chapbook of poems, Acquiesce, winner of the 2008 Starting Gate Award through Finishing Line Press (2009). Sarah's work has been honored with four Pushcart Prize nominations, and her essays have appeared in the notable essays list in the Best American Essays 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, and 2018. Sarah is the recipient of a 2018 Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council. She resides in Ashland, Ohio with her husband and three children.

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