according to the garden

you tread the earth gingerly
in your seventieth year,
with worn, mud-loved boots.

weak-kneed, you no longer kneel
upon the dark bed of loam
for long, sun-streaked hours,
in communion with the soil

where your hands, wrinkled spades,
once scooped stones for skipping,
sowing green bean seeds
along a rusted chain-link fence.

rhubarb, the acrid root of memory,
flourishes beside the thatched compost heap,
and scraps of sagging tomato skins
their burgundy hearts burst beneath the heat.

half a decade after you sold the house
and your bones were planted in the north,
the flowers still ask for you.


a/n: memory is a strange creature, sleeping somewhere in my skull, roaming places I can no longer visit. june 11, 2010.