I Watch the Work of 5,000 Hands

I watch the work of five thousand hands.
Here’s a thanks to the volunteers at Gaining Ground,
the veterans and new ones, the seen and unseen.
All their work translates to pounds of greens,
melons, roots, red fruits and joy.

Here come a dozen children full of wonder,
singing, pulling carrots and shrieking at spiders.
Then come some adults who are curious
and fit for hauling muddy tarps and pounding stakes.
Some come once, others return every week
leaving behind great legacies—model citizens.

Other volunteers at the farm are unsung:
the knobby toad smacks up pesky beetles,
the blue flanked garter snake routes voles,
the microbes grind dead plants into new,
while the sun warms the soil and leaves to life.

No matter what job a volunteer does,
they leave their mark on this project.
The Gaining Ground farmers are lucky
to work, laugh and wonder alongside
all the help they gratefully receive.