Garden Confessions

I confess I wasn’t happy to find chickens
in the green beans, leisurely pecking the fruits
of our labor. But surely beans are tastier
than grass, and truly, if Speckled Sussex
eat the beans, and we fry the eggs,
we still get the beans. Better the chickens
and us than damn grasshoppers,
who, I confess, make me anxious
until the chickens eat them,
snatching them from air mid-leap.
So let the chickens in the garden.
Guard the eggplant. Nasturtiums
don’t deter pests as well as beaks.

I must confess: I am a green witch, digging
with fingernails in compost, my silver rings
caked with brown black muck of tomatoes
underbaked with chicken shit in the compost pile.
Motherwort and purple coneflower don’t care;
Calendula eats any rotten thing.
I confess I wonder if some childless Irish mother
perhaps planting seeds to resurrect her child,
once studied granite stones in garden holes she dug.
I wonder if, come mid July, she bent to touch
each perfect plant, sing it a small cicada song,
caress its waxy, tiny or stinging leaves
and walked away, smelling her fingers.


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