Posts Tagged ‘garlic’

is what you say when pressing
the garlic cloves into the soil in early November:
five inches down, sprout side up.
But no matter how well one plants them—
preferably six inches apart so they don’t compete
for sunlight or water or space—
it will still be a long time
before green shoots come up.

It’s the same thing I say to myself
as I sit by my husband and weep,
as I’ve done nearly every day
for over a year since our son died.
No matter how well one grieves—
whether the heart is cracked asphalt
or a lush peony—
it’s going to take a long time.

A long time, perhaps forever.
I tell myself, Go ahead,
cry when you think of how he used to race
to the car when you’d come home.
As if I could stop myself.
I cry because my body says cry.
Because I remember the shape
of his body crushed into mine.

Because sometimes my heart
is more dead bird than wing.
Because some things we simply live into.
Winter will come and freeze the dirt.
Next spring, there will be green shoots.
Late summer, we will pull thick bulbs from the earth.
We will welcome the taste, sharp and strong.

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Allium Sativum




When everything had died,

but before the ground was frozen,

I planted the garlic in four long rows—


dozens of cloves deep enough

in the earth so the frost

couldn’t push them up and out.


I think of them now as winter

continues to gather the world

in its white embrace.


I think of how, beneath the snow,

they’re preparing to flourish,

to root, to leaf, to grow.


It’s not so different, I think,

from the ways you love me—

how, sometimes, when everything


seems barren, you’ll plant seeds.

And though we see nothing for a long,

long time, there, like cloves beneath the surface,


each seed multiplies into many.

So much of love happens invisibly.

So much of love takes a stretch.


When the cloves ripen, some we will consume.

They will mark us with their strength.

Some, like love, we will plant again.


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