Posts Tagged ‘gardening’




Push again the small dried peas

one inch into the earth. The gaps

in the rows where they did not grow,

do not take these personally.

Not everything comes to fruition,

but that is no reason to stop planting.

In fact there is every reason to believe

that not so long from now

the sweet green song of fresh sweet peas

will serenade your impatient tongue

if only your hands keep doing their work.

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I snip off dead flowers

to trick the pansy

into blooming again


wonder which

of my past


to cut

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After the frost,

the sweet peas

rise from the dirt

like little green angels

with bowed heads

and tiny green wings—


it’s enough to make

a woman believe

small miracles can happen

if only she plants

the seed.

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in the sunflower bed,

a volunteer potato—

letting it grow right there



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Digging there in the dirt

with small seeds

in your hands

you hear the wind

high in the cottonwoods,

you hear the silence

sown inside the wind,

and the quieter

you are, you hear

perhaps, within you

a call like the geese

that aren’t flying

overhead, a startling

call, an almost

strangled sound

that, if you heard it,

might almost

wake you up.

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Those forlorn, sagging sunflowers,

all morning I watch the severe arcs

of their lifeless stems. Just yesterday,

they were so full of vigor before I pulled them up

and moved them across the garden.

I, too, have been ripped up. Is this why

I can’t stop staring at them all morning

at the slow, slow straightening,

the gradual unflagging of the leaves,

the marvelous resilience

I want to believe I might find inside me

no matter how brutal or well intentioned

the hand that tugs, tugs at my roots.

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Pay Attention, Heart

After the frost, the cosmos fronds
are brittle and brown. Not a hint
of return. Not a trace of pink. Brown.
Partially dust already. Sometimes it needs
to be this way in order for us to do
the work that must be done—the pulling
up of things by the roots and discarding
them into a pile. No, if there were any green chance
that the cosmos might bloom again,
it would be easier to tell the self a story
about how, with some luck and some care,
the plant might leap back to life.
But the story is a trick ladder,
every rung is covered in oil and even
if you reach the top it leads to nowhere.
Look. The flowers are dead. They were lovely once.
Say thank you. And give the stem a tug.

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What a gift
to kneel
in the dirt
and search
the heart-shaped leaves
for the long
and slender green
of beans,
at how straight
they are, how
green, marveling
as if
the way
they grow
could not only
feed us
but save us.

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Just because it’s the longest day of the year
doesn’t mean that the bean sprouts in the garden
won’t freeze tonight. Again. As they did last night.
And two nights before that. So I water them.

I water them real good, for I am still shocked
and delighted that the process of freezing creates
a degree of heat. Every time I consider that fact,
it stuns me. It’s like a joke that makes me laugh

no matter how many times I have heard it.
And though it’s all rather predictable amongst the rows,
what comes up when and what the frost will kill,
it is always new. I never stop marveling at the pure

determination of those tiny leaves as they thrust
through the hard dirt crust. And marvel again at their
vulnerability on nights like tonight when the wind
gets lost some other where and the stars shine clear

in the cold night air and the frost doesn’t care
if I’ve planted the beans again. And again. The earth
spins on its invisible spit and summer goes on
as it always does, different than it’s ever been.

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On the Other Side of the Fence

A low fence lined
with wild roses.

Two white chairs
and a round white table.

Scent of a recent
afternoon rain.

Beet greens proud,
crimson veined and tall

and the gooseberries swollen
nearly red.

In this small garden
everything tended.

In me a longing
to love you like that.

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