Thanksgiving Ode

Thornton’s Budgens : Green Business of the Year

Prize or no prize, they would have done it
Not just because they can but because they want to
So that the Earth, our generous provider,
May be generous still as we are tender to her ;
So that we may dine with a clear conscience ;
So that our children may know where their food comes from
And be both glad and grateful.

The farmer tends the fields,
The fisherfolk the sea,
The grocer vends their yields
As food for you and me.
Wise merchants understand
That they have their part too
In keeping sea and land
Gracious for me and you.

It takes vision. Who but a visionary
Would dare on a shop’s bare roof
To site a garden where hives are housed
To seethe with honey, where herbs are harvested ?
It takes bravura. Who but a pioneer
Would call forth colleagues whose bread, whose cheese
Friendly and fresh, smile so on shoppers,
Wooing the willing to delight in the different ?
It takes kindness. Who but a benefactor
Would share the gain of his green groceries
With the people who make his purpose plausible
—The kids and their kin of the whole community ?

This prize we celebrate makes clear
How ends and means are indivisible,
How it’s as true as it’s sincere :
His motto “Work Is Love Made Visible” !