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And the angel said unto thee, Go thou
into your garden and plant Creeping Jenny,

alyssum, Sweet Woodruff to crawl across
the earth, and herbs to bring culinary alchemy

into each and every meal: oregano, rosemary,
lemon balm, chives, sage, and thyme. Then

set deep into the soil two wisteria vines, three
redbud trees, a butterfly bush, lupines, salvia,

zinnias, a hundred zinnias. Wait for the bees.
Wait for the 20,000 kinds of bees, from bumble

to honey to mason. Watch how they live in
harmony, all humming as if they can trust

one another and the petals, stamens, the ways
the flowers make their indifferent offerings

of pollen. Genuflect to the bees that ye may
eat of the fruit of the land. Be ever humble

in your unknowing. Learn the intelligence
of worm, vole, sparrow, spider, how none

needs even a holy word to linger and
work, becoming nothing more than what

they are under the benign disregard of sky,
the unpredictable nonchalance of weather.

Jack Ridl

Jack Ridl is an American poet and former professor of English at Hope College. He is the author of several collections of poetry, has published more than 300 poems in journals, and has work included in numerous anthologies.