Gardening for Dummies

Pot by pot across the patio,
I’m failing at this god thing.
The shriveled orange fists
Of marigolds, raised in protest.
I gave them a home, however cramped,
I water them when I’m not too busy.

Clearly it is not enough,
Not even for the stoic rosemary.
The brown stems, the shriveled leaves,
All drooped in prayerful mockery.
They are not impressed with me.
How to be the druid of my dreams
In a temple of blooming perfection?

Over my slumping shoulders,
The oak tree’s mistakes on proud display:
Look at me, it implores endlessly,
See how my branches never make sense.
Some of me giving birth, some of me dying,
All of me right now. What other way to be?

(First published in Last Leaves Magazine #6, Spring 2023. Thanks to the editors.)

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