Weekly Write: “Seed Memory” by Liza Wolff-Francis

Seed Memory

“The future of food must be reclaimed by women.”
Vandana Shiva

Most farmers in India are women,
wrapped in wheat-soaked
pink and yellow under
the dome of cerulean sky.
Spiced recipe, a moonlit field
growing thousands
of women who will harvest
cycles of hunger.

Stale breadcrumbs scattered,
high-priced seeds pressed
into palms, the scratch
of their patent like an allergy.
The threat of death in the dirt
under fingernails at sunset,
labor’s brief hiatus.

When the memory of a seed
no longer recognizes itself
in the till of the crop, in bent
backs, calloused hands,
the dance of sun and rain
and careful tender of land,
a woman’s freedom
has already been
bought and sold.
This, they say, is all
in the cost
of going forward.

Mornings await,
heat heavy in the soil,
in the thunderous
voices waiting to hatch.
Hold on to the seeds.


Liza Wolff-Francis is a literary artist with an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Goddard College. She was co-director for the 2014 Austin International Poetry Festival and on the 2008 Albuquerque Poetry Slam Team. She has a poetry chapbook called Language of Crossing (SWEPublications).




“Like”, “Share”, and comment on this poem to nominate it for the Annual Swimming with Elephants Publications 2020 Anthology.

Click here check out the 2019 Anthology:  Trumpet Call; a Swimming with Elephants Anthology available for only $12.95.