Pruning the Thorn Child
for Jane and Katie
Handle everything with open hands,
Spread your fingers apart
the thorns will rest between them.
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,
thorns and all,
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 anewelephant.wordpress.com