L. Mark Finch: Compost
When I’ve left my husk and you’ve had your weep,
Toss me out on the compost heap.
Mix me in with the leaves and such
And sprinkle some water -- it won’t take much.
Stir well with a fork, or whatever you’ve got,
Do what it takes to help me rot.
And when I’ve become a rich, dark soil
Plow me in, and I’ll start my toil
Of nourishing worms, and likewise roots
And pushing up some tender shoots
Of grass, and veggies, and bushes, and trees
Perches for birds, and banquets for bees.
I’ll make plants fruit! I’ll grow food for critters!
I’ll raise up some corn, and you can make fritters!
It’ll be lots of fun -- I can just hardly wait!
To nurture new life will really be great.
And I’ll laugh at you some, if I get on your shirt
And you get annoyed and start calling me "dirt."
When dogs track me in Winter, my name will be Mud
But when Spring comes around, I’ll be in each bud.
Hug a tree in the Summer, and pat on its bark,
Rest yourself in its shade -- say, "You’re looking good, Mark!"
If you miss me in Autumn, well heck -- look around
I’ll be in the leaves, the river, the ground.
Sprinkle me some where the wildflowers grow, and
I’ll be in the trilliums, pushing up through the snow
And I’ll be in the worms when the young robins feed
And provide a soft cradle for each dying plant’s seed.
When a fish eats a worm (if the robins are sharin’)
There’s a good chance I’ll fly in the wings of a heron.
Whatever you do, don’t build me a tomb --
I haven’t been bad! Don’t lock me in a room!
I want to be free -- instead of riding my bike, I’ll
Go out and pedal on Life’s great cycle
And I’ll get around, all over this Earth,
Following the path of life, death and rebirth.
— L. Mark Finch
This poem has been published a couple of times, once in Branches magazine and again on the Prairie Poetry website, which no longer exists.