Tilling Soil

My father’s fingers, tuberous and slow,
Still spent summer days knuckle deep in dirt
Tending garden: bed by bed, row by row.
I can still see the grass stains on his shirt,
Dirt rings on upturned cuffs. It must have hurt
At his age, but if so he never said —
Just toiled on bended knee, and bowed his head,
And tended tender seedlings with such care,
That even I divined the truth unsaid:
His every sprouting seed an act of prayer.