Late Summer Garden


The garden gone unwatered in summer

was a sorry sight in my backyard,

flowers not fit for the arid basin,

weather having weathered them bitterly

left stems as brittle as dried sagebrush

preserved only by disregard,

for a glance might cleft their purgatory.

It was like the long ash unraveling

the cigarette unsmoked between my lips,

stiff until the tubers give way and tumble

at my slightest awareness, an intention

that repays so much lost time with interest,

tells us we’ve been gone, and measures time

by how strange we’re made to realize our absence.

So I neglected them and found them again

and was full of guilt because in Spring

I enjoyed them without effort and took

for granted such generous showers

that did my work and asked nothing in return.

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