In Praise of Tending by Jannie Edwards

Poem title: In Praise of Tending
Poet name: Jannie Edwards
Poem: The way you drift to a minor key when you hum
polishing the table your mother rescued 
from the haunted house

the way you know without thinking 
to bring a cutting of spider plant or wandering jew
to a friend who needs rooting 

how you let the cat out 
out again

cover small plants 
against the fray of wind and frost 
minister to green
how you attend to blushes, 
stutters, quickenings that 

command at supper, Look! 
how light holds the willow
we planted 

the way we lean into the current 
of what we remember 
of sacraments 

the way dust settles its shadows like debts
carried so long they seem slight as ash 

how we come to know do no harm 
is a kind of stretching 

a tendril 
End of poem. 
Credits and bio: Copyright © Jannie Edwards
Previously published in Falling Blues, Jannie Edwards, Frontenac Press 2010.
Jannie Edwards is a poet and essayist from Edmonton. Her most recent publication is Learning Their Names: Letters from the Home Place (Collusion Books 2022), letters written across the country by two settler colonial artists uncovering the history and aliveness of an off-grid, five-acre piece of land in northeastern Alberta they love. Forthcoming in December 2023 from Alfred Gustav Press is Blues for a Rare Moon.