Finger Snap Series Presents A Poem.

We Are the Gardeners


My roots grew deep into this land

before a white man

stepped on her soil.

They spread through native Earth.

Grew strong and red and

branched out across the land.


My ancestors tilled this soil

and never had the chance to

say goodbye to their own.

Fingers run through dirt they

never asked to work,

to the bone

they worked

and bled

and cried

and survived.

They replanted and picked

under blazing sun and cracking whip.


And these branches intertwined

overtime

And bore fruit.


My roots are sturdy,

my trunk if split open could tell

you the stories

I have grown up hearing:

This ring is freedom.

This ring is famine

This ring is war.

This ring is hope.


I have heard the slurs:

Words like shears- you try to

prune my leaves to fit

the space you've made for me.

Black

White

Red

Brown

There is no shade safe enough.

I refuse to shrink,

will not stop reaching for the sun.


I am no weed.

There is honor in my roots,

in the work my family committed

to this crop.

I am the heir of this land,

of their history.

I am the fruit my

forefathers nourished

as they toiled and dreamed.

I have power

in my limbs and tendrils

that grasp for all I deserve.

I refuse to settle for

any new normal

that is less than

happiness and health and freedom.


I will take up the spade of my father

and his father

and his.

I will water this soil,

and my neighbors' soil,

and his.

I will plant seeds

of power and truth and justice.

I will not wither.

We will flourish and grow.


We are the gardeners.

Elle Garner is a poet, writer, and artist who lives with three wild cats and a very supportive husband. Elle's work often highlights identity, mental health, and other personal issues. When she isn't writing,  Elle can be found binge watching Law and Order reruns or plotting her next adventure.