The farm wife repeats a lullaby

October 28, 2014

When Ruth cries out, terrified
by what stalks the root cellar
or chases her toward a cliff,
we sing our favorite chorus:

Vegetables grow in my garden,
God sends the rain,
Vegetables grow in my garden,
God sends the sun.

With each verse, we substitute
something new: carrots, potatoes,
rutabagas, coconuts. Like sheep
that leap a fence, we never stop

to reconsider: sunflowers,
snapdragons, poinsettia, burr
thistle. Rabbits wriggle in
and soon the gate swings open

for rhinoceros and pythons . . .
till we make room for everything
under the sun, under the rain,
in the garden

where Ruth can fall asleep.