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Posts Tagged ‘planting’

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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for Merry Stoll

wahtola - 02

After I learn that she died,

I go to the garden, grateful

that there are petunias,

cosmos and snapdragons

to plant. Salvia, pansies, and

verbena that will drape its purple

kindness down the sides

of the planter. I don’t

put on my gloves. I let my hands

enter the soil and feel

how good the earth is.

This is how I best remember her,

with a trowel or a scissors in her hand,

ready to transplant, to trim,

to harvest the blooms

into a bouquet for the altar

or table. Flowers hung

in her garage to dry. Flowers

in her bathrooms, her dining room,

her kitchen. It came easy to her,

which stem to place where.

Which color, which ribbon,

which grass, which vase.

She left beauty all over the place.

Once she sat with me

on her green and white couch,

and let me read her poems,

a whole book of them.

We sat there for hours,

and she listened and laughed

at Shel Silverstein’s antics,

and as I read, I felt like a flower,

like something just at the edge

of bloom. Her attention

made me beautiful.

Today, the garden is just starting

to find itself after winter. I cannot help

but weep into the holes I have dug.

It is tender, this moment, and fragile

this life. I feel like making wild pledges—

to honor her legacy—to find

and share beauty everywhere I go.

I feel determined to keep my word.

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before the planting,

the dreaming, laying out seeds

while summer still fits in my hand

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