Revisiting the Parable of the Sower on Martha’s Vineyard

by Kathleen O’Toole

So was it the seeds
scattered in sandy soil,
or the sea-salted rain
that bred this gaudy display—
fuchsia and blue-violet hydrangea
on this wind-kissed day?
A catbird teases me
toward my own rock-clotted
acreage. Shoots of faith
thick with thistle, return
each season. Some looming
loss bids me sift anew.
Today, the broken glass
of cruelty, indifference.
An ice shelf the size
of Delaware calves
into the Southern Ocean,
as millions launch out
into perilous seas, toward
all our barricades and lack
of faith. Still each day
the sower’s hand offers
some momentary grace: wind
in the mainsail, that osprey’s cry,
our grandson’s shriek of joy,
to water what’s sown.