This week, poetry thursday challenged us to write poems about food. This is a gift for my husband, the suburban, gentleman farmer. Gardening as a hobby mystifies me. Perhaps it is because I have a 'brown' thumb--plants I care for wither on the vine. Or perhaps it is too much of delayed gratification for me. I don't have the right kind of patience for it. Which is not to say I don't appreciate and benefit from Neil's skill and care of our small yard and its gardens.
On your bedside table
seed catalogues flirt
with manuals on container
gardening and a brochure
for recycled composters.
Your ancestors were never
farmers. Seven generations
back past doctors and lawyers,
pharmacists, merchants, rabbis.
The closest anyone got to dirt
an undertaker. You dream
of cold frames and the louvered
windows of a greenhouse, content
yourself with timers and soaker
hoses, miracle-gro, blueberry mulch.
August heat wilts me. Stalks
climb over the plant stakes, inch
closer to the sun while I reach
for shade and fresh ice. You sweat
over weeds and aphids, invasive
roots from our neighbor's hollyhocks.
The nights cool off to ninety. I ache
for fall. You bring me a glass
of chilled chardonay, the unblemished
round of a single perfect tomato.