by Linda Parsons Marion

Call me a woman who changes her mind
after years mining black gold, Duncan’s truck
backed to the gate, steaming mushroom or midnight
compost tumbled in sour-sweet fecundity. Even I
wanted to roll in it, drop and swoon with Laddie,
too doggone rich, we agreed, for the likes of hedgeroses
and rhubarb. But I’m tired of weekends working till
dark, pitchfork and wheelbarrow, just one more load
ladled, ankles of trees and shrubbery glistening bituminous.
Tired of the body ache, winter’s icy fall still fresh
at the bone. Tired of the beautiful mulch rivered in flash
rain, my hard-shouldered stash flooded down, down,
gullywashed down to sewer and street. Call me a realist
who sweeps dirt into the garden’s tidy house, mounds
tattered leavings on pink-throated rows, forgets
the ordered spotlessness, returning dust to satisfied
dust, the woodsy floor where I’ll sleep soon enough
beside bottle glass and memory’s sharp objects,
all of us biding our time in the unpretty ground.    

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