Away from the white tablecloth . . .
By Mary Oliver
It grew in the black mud.
It grew under the tiger's orange paws.
Its stems thinner than candles, and as straight.
Its leaves like the feathers of egrets, but green.
The grains cresting, wanting to burst.
Oh, blood of the tiger.
I don't want you just to sit down at the table.
I don't want you just to eat, and be content.
I want you walk out into the fields
where the water is shining, and the rice has risen.
I want you to stand there, far from the white tablecloth.
I want you to fill your hands with the mud, like a blessing
Wild rice Image by The Natural Capital