Gardener

Cutting through the soil,
Bent blades breaking dirt,
Opening up the earth,
Cracked and dry, brown,
Giving up the rocks,
The clay-like blackness beneath.

Grubs are ground between gloved fingers,
Earthworms left to do their tilling and fertilizing too,
The rake rakes to even out the plot,
Preparations for the new roots to be planted.

Tomatoes, always with rosemary and marigolds,
Celery and onions,
Eggplant,
Lettuces,
Lavender,
Zucchini,
Broccoli,
Strawberries,
Melons, both water and musk,
Mints and lemongrass and lemon balm, stevia and chamomile,
Basil and sage.

I am become Death,
Maker of worlds.

Tell me, little plants,
Can you taste all around you the death of your cousins,
That have been pulled root and all to make room for you,
So they will not compete
(For I am a benevolent yet terrible god, in my care for you),
The grubs squashed,
The beetles beheaded,
Can you sense their unmakings,
Can you still feel their fear?

It’s nice, for a change,
To bury something that will live and grow,
Instead of the death,
Friends and relatives,
Still swimming in my mind.

In this garden,
Uprooting the vestiges of loss,
The winding framework on a mind,
Clearing contemptuousness and disregard,
Replacing it with an approximation of autonomy,
Austerity and subtle self-aggrandizement,
Weeding out the callow calls of communication,
Creating a sanctuary for clarity and clarification.

Frost comes,
Some of these plants are aground too early,
This is an experiment in care,
To see if I can make something live,
Not smothered nor neglected,
Middle ground for growth,
To convince myself that I deserve
Deliverance from my devotion.

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