RELEASED: May 15, 2008
by Ali Hamilton
I. Tight tomato bulbs lined along side
sprawling bean pods, potato tops,
all sun-spent and assorted green;
gathering them in the wooden basket,
she chose a pepper and sliced the membrane,
its green slivers curled at end, like the stems
of the bleeding heart we dug from Fran’s garden,
its slender curve hung charms of hearts
splitting green at point and dropping tears.
In the hazy dusk we inspected our garden’s
green leaves for starch-bellied bugs –
their brown sap varnished my fingers,
and at the fence, we hunted green-backs,
our hands totem-like around the mason jar,
watching their still eyes, pulsing bodies-
then turning the jar, they dropped dark
into the grass that was green even at night
in those summers— organic and unripe.
II. She grew up in the fields, sowed seed,
hoed soil, cut the tobacco it sprouted,
and stained her hands on the tar-stalks—
her harsh hands, because Jack died at four.
She loves winter now because in December
things don’t turn green, her hoe rests
in the shed above a harboring ground
where decay and growth look the same.
She is pouring coffee tonight, awake
with the peacocks calling across the field,
and the moths plinking at the lights—
and I am awake too on the iron-frame bed,
thinking about green summers and this
foreign stillness moving in rooms at night.
- end -
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