Planting Hope

Land so dry.
The skies are filled with smoke. 
Fires rage in the nearby hills,
But still she wields her spade.
Slipping on her worn, leather gloves,
She takes the bulbs,
The daffodil bulbs,
And faces this drought-
A firm, swift thrust
Ploughs the spade in earth;
The dirt,
Dry as powdered bones.
Dust rises to meet her eyes
While smoldering forest breath 
Mingles with her own.
On her knees
She lifts the bulbs,
Placing them in careful rows.
Taking handfuls of the aching earth,
She carefully covers their pointed heads
Deep inside their grave.
She fills the bucket with liquid gold
Striding, cautious,
And resolute,
Bringing the rain that will not come.
She soaks the surface of fresh dug ground,
Now so foreign to damp refreshment
That the water pools, seeping in slow.
Her labor of love,
Now complete,
She closes her eyes and dreams of Spring.
The yellow trumpets will sing their song,
And the skies
Will applaud with rain.
She grabs her spade and turns away,
Knowing that those bulbs,
Those daffodil bulbs,
Where her way of planting Hope.

(Written in response to the severe drought and wildfires that swept through East TN in Fall 2016.)