John Updike

1932-2009 / Pennsylvania

Hoeing

I sometimes fear the younger generation will be deprived
of the pleasures of hoeing;
there is no knowing
how many souls have been formed by this simple exercise.

The dry earth like a great scab breaks, revealing
moist-dark loam-
the pea-root's home,
a fertile wound perpetually healing.

How neatly the green weeds go under!
The blade chops the earth new.
Ignorant the wise boy who
has never rendered thus the world fecunder.
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