Pruning the Thorn Child – a poem by Jenny Jordan

Pruning the Thorn Child

for Jane and Katie

Handle everything with open hands,
showing warmth.
Spread your fingers apart
the thorns will rest between them.

Grasp slowly.
Trim small.
What you cut cannot be undone
So train your eyes to feel.

Pull quietly, without fuss, eyes averted;
the Osage is easily embarrassed.
……….Leave the bird’s nest there:
……….wonder and beauty and surprise
……….are required in every thorn child.
……….This is why we plant them.

Cut everything that crosses,
Everything you can reach.
What you can’t reach, commend to God.

Those branches, even tangled,
will reach the sky anyway
stretching to the light,
towards God,
towards flight
thorns and all,
every one.

Jenny Jordan grew up in Liberia, fleeing the approaching civil war with her family in 1990. She now lives in Wisconsin with her husband and teen daughter. She has a formal degree in architecture and an informal one in parenting an unusual child. She blogs at 

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s