My son, listen.
        In 24 months the ash and dust
        will fall down from the sky,
        and we will see the sun.
        In the ground are seeds—
        Yes, yes all the plants are dead.
        And all the animals bigger than scarab beetles;
        but the seeds have been waiting in the ground.
        When the soil warms and the sun shines,
        they will grow.
        And somewhere there is a frog in the mud at the bottom of a pond. . .

        That first spring will be unlike anything anyone’s ever seen—
        The living things that grow will grow like mad,
        and fill up all the gaps in the land, in the world.
        Also someone somewhere, someone who will have been
        eating beans from a can for twenty-four months,
        has a drawer full of seeds;
        and the world right away
        will be covered again with corn
        wheat squash barely carrots roses (why not)
        sorghum oats alfalfa potatoes garlic
        and we will find many more people,
        friends to help us, and we won’t have to hide
        anymore, and there will be other boys
        your own age to play with, in sunlight.

        Yes, someone has seeds in a drawer.
        Next year, that’s next year. Lay down
        your little head and rest. You are
        safe, safe for now and until spring comes,
        my son