Enough

by Katherine Burke, Norway

I didn’t ask you this morning, 
when I ripped you 
from the Earth.

You, spritely green onions,
first to raise your heads in Spring, 
massed in happy bunches, 
(no social distancing for you)

Your long straight fleshy stalks, 
topped with bright purple flower heads, 
greet me every morning 
as I walk into the garden.  
Yet it isn’t my garden, it is ours.

But there are enough, I reasoned, 
these have overflowed, 
they have taken over the nearby garden bed,
 they are encroaching on others.

I pulled you out by the roots, 
a mighty heave it took, and then
you were loose from Earth, 
your spidery white roots 
 untethered. 


What is enough? 
You retort:
Who decides enough? 

 Is it enough
that you humans have settled
and wandered and squatted 
and plundered and wreaked havoc 
over the entire Earth? 

Is it not enough that you have stretched your roads, 
your airplane contrails,
your housing, your commerce, 
in ever increasing sprawl?  

Who decides enough? 

Is it not enough:
the commodities you amass,
the resources you extract,
the constant destruction of ancient place
for newfangled finds?

When is it enough?

I am washing the last 
of the lifegiving soil 
from you 
as your words 
wash over me in waves.

I was  not even planning on using your roots. 

I carefully cut off the white rhizomes,  
enough stem for regrowth. 
Now, I remember to ask: 
where would you like me to plant you?  
Where would you like to grow?
 It isn’t my world, it is ours.  

The heady aroma of spring onion 
fills the kitchen as I finish.  
Spring onion soup will nourish me
today, 
but it is Earth that must nourish 
you and me
today and always. 

I plant your roots in deep loamy soil 
on the little hill above the garden. 
Here, you will flourish. 
Here, your sisters can see you.  
Here, I will see you when 
you have regrown your long stalks 
and purple blooms.  

I will remember your lesson: 
it isn’t my world, it is ours. 
Teach me what is 
Enough.

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