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.