I had read about vermiculite Using it as is To start your seeds “What’s to lose,” I thought. My parsley was not growing In the organic starting mix from the Coast of Maine. The peppers seeds Were still dormant or had they died Beneath the perfect soil? No sweet talk seemed capable Of drawing them out At least not my sweet talk! So, I poured the vermiculite Into an abandoned cashew yogurt container, Wet it down Spread 10 seeds over the surface Then finished off with a ¼ inch layer of more vermiculite I blessed it with a fine mist, Clicked the cover in place And placed it on the heat mat. A few days later, On a less cold spring day I carried them outside, With other promising containers, To the greenhouse To absorb the warmth Of that fine New Hampshire sun. On their second outing day, As the yogurt container soaked up the warmth of the greenhouse, I peeked inside There were 9 baby plants! Tiny green shoots emerged!!! The first leaves unfurled They were beautiful Each sprout had only the cotyledon leaves— The embryonic leaves Atop a delicate green stem Worried they may need more nutrition Than the vermiculite and embryonic leaves could provide Or maybe just excited to move forward I decided to transplant them! I separated the babies-- One to each red solo cup Filled with starter soil Wet down in preparation A nice deep divot dug Ready to embrace the fragile roots Ever so carefully and breathlessly I grasped the tiny leaves Of my first neonate Pulling steadily, firmly, and gently I liberated the newborn. The vermiculite effortlessly released the babe The white root stalk came forth With tiny white shoots extending from the main root. My tiny seed had become A whole, living plant! I delicately placed it into its new home, Patted it reassuringly Sprinkled another blessing onto the soil And set it upon the greenhouse shelf To stretch its roots Raise each leaf face toward the sun And accept its welcoming embrace Nine solo cups An eggplant copse Separate but together So far, surviving their first right of passage! I screeched with delight!!