The dad plants a garden
in tiny yard in front
of six family
digs up dead rose and forsythia.
In school the kid
gets a box of seeds
to sell for PTA.
The kid don’t know anyone with land
for growing all stuck in apartments.
The dad buys four packs,
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The dad finds old bricks
makes a ring in center of garden
to fill with flowers
and all along front border,
tomatoes, cukes, peppers
all fit into little yard.
Comfortable in the cold,
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mist tendrils rising
across morning garden,
dry in the rising wind.
Cracking this year’s journal,
I release pleasure to the river.
Behind a dome of December clouds,
the sun struggles.
August Garden Overgrown, ravaged with insects, humming incessant sun, the lot of it buckles, sucks, sags and slumps toward autumn — all bursting, come to fruition, seeking divisions between sex and sex and death — breathing last breaths, heaving its seed toward next season. Stephen Jackson [he/him] lives and writes in the Pacific Northwest. His […]
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September This month cuts its own hair, the trees’ dream of going bald and old roses sport candelabras. The mosses cannot hold on as tightly as they did in June. The forsythia droops like a girl’s braids at the end of the first day of school. Black-eyed Susans flirt over the heads of dead-headed daisies. […]
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August It is no easier to escape August than January – late summer lassitude bows the asters, curls the sunflowers just as the blizzard quiets winter. My hammock is my sled hurtling with frogs in first fall of alder leaves, swinging over plums fried on the patio, watching the squirrel choose soft figs over peanuts. […]
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The patio It’s Saturday. Easter weekend and I am up early. I am cleaning the greenhouse, bent down with holes in my knees, dragging out spiders from the dark places where my grandfather stored pots and sprouted succulents. on the lawn, you are wearing my shirt and carefully painting a bench and wooden chairs, flaked […]
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Bones Where I am from, women have broken fingernails that dig in the dirt like badgers, looking for bones. Bones mean yes, a lovely spot for pansies. Plant two there. We scrub our hands before dinner. We get the dead dirt rubbed off our palms like it was bad, what we did in the garden. […]
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Raspberries in June He asks me to come by, read her some of my garden poems at four o’clock. June sun will be high and hot through the windows in her hospital room. She may sleep. The surgeons opened up her abdomen from stern to pubes and poked through the curves, bends, folds and hiding […]
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Holly Day’s poetry has recently appeared in Plainsongs, The Long Islander, and The Nashwaak Review. Her newest poetry collections are A Perfect Day for Semaphore (Finishing Line Press), In This Place, She Is Her Own (Vegetarian Alcoholic Press), A Wall to Protect Your Eyes (Pski’s Porch Publishing), I’m in a Place Where Reason Went Missing (Main Street Rag Publishing Co.), The Yellow Dot of a Daisy(Alien Buddha Press), Folios […]
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June Bug Neighbors told me his name was June Bug. He was as black as any black man ever is. Two years younger than I. Liquid brown depths of kindness. I saw that in his calm eyes and quiet way. I don’t know how he tied up beetles. They said he got his name because […]
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