On the surface it holds up clumps of happy green,
and underneath the ground
the roots curl up snug, content and safe from everything.
Yet soon people come with spades and forks
to disturb its peaceful slumber
and dig it up without any thought.
So the mandrake bawls
when all the soil is brushed away from its face,
wondering why it couldn’t be left alone
for the rest of its days.
But the people have heard its bulbous roots
are more than what they seem,
and seek to use it as an ingredient
for all the medicines that they need.
So many little mandrakes
have suffered the same fate
that now they have learnt to vanish
from gardens and allotments without a trace.