Woman of Myriad Seeds by Margaret Stetler


“Woman of Myriad Seeds” by Margaret Stetler


She has seeds she has given away 

                that are worth nothing. 

She says they are wild and rare.

She has seeds and doesn’t know 

                what flower they came from. 

She says they are exotic seeds.

She has seeds she wanted to plant, 

                but didn’t.

She has seeds she planted 

                that shed their skins 

                and rotted underground.  

She has seeds so tiny, they slip

                through her fingers before

                she can plant them.

She has seeds so tough, 

                they can’t open out of themselves.

She has white seeds her mother gave her 

                that are really salt.

Her mother said they would yield

                a salve for wounds.

She has black seeds her father gave her 

                that are hard tacks.

He said it was better to hold a life together 

                than to grow.

She gave her daughter seeds that split open 

                and grew in air.

She gave her son seeds he spilled 

                on the ground. 

They grew into two thorn bushes 

                she could not tend.

She gave her husband seeds that looked

                like pearls to pay the rent. 

He planted them by the roadside 

                where they came up weeds.

She gave him the seeds of the weeds 

                to pay the rent.

She has seeds that are small and round

                and shiny, and inside them are more seeds,  

                and inside them, more seeds.

She has one lopsided seed she has carried 

                in her apron pocket for forty years.  

It is waiting to grow 

                                                into her life.



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Maggie Stetler Artist Statement: 

A refugee from 9/11 NYC, Maggie Stetler now lives in Winchester, VA. Thanks
to many years of psychotherapy, she survived her parents’ 1950s divorce; a 20-
year separation from her father; and living in 17 houses by the time she was 17.
Maggie is an advocate for the mentally ill and abused, and champions the
creative arts as a means to heal and transform broken lives. She is a Quaker
(The Religious Society of Friends); a Reiki practitioner; and, as a substitute
teacher, cares for the souls of astounding young people. Her poems have most
recently appeared in the Buddhist Poetry Review; The Sow’s Ear Poetry Review;
Snapdragon: A Journal of Art and Healing; Friends Journal; and Gathered:
Contemporary Quaker Poets. Her poems and drawings have hung in Soho, City
Island, and Shenandoah Valley galleries; one poem is on permanent view in the
bathroom of Steamy’s Café in Old Town Winchester.


Author: A Room of Her Own

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