these letters dark on the crème pulp
are more seed than symbol
thousands die in the planting

before they can push above the soil
these green shoots emerge slowly
centuried in their spread

yet with every birth
every gentle thrust
of green type over the earth

the chance for understanding
this tender plant
deserves your affection

tread like the doe
nervous she may trample safety
touch with the tenderness

you reserve for a child
who has wounded their knee
dab at tears and blood

with the softest silk
for these young shoots
will inherit humanity

let us choose together
to leave it less torn less angry
less ignorant than we found it

Corbett Buchly’s poetry has appeared in Barrow Street, The Interpreter’s House, North Dakota Quarterly and Dream Catcher. He is an alumnus of Texas Christian University and the professional writing program at the University of Southern California. You can find him online at